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 EMERSON WOELFFER   1914 – 2003 
Untitled – Calligraphic
Untitled – Calligraphic

Selling ice cream at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933, Woelffer earned enough to fund his enrollment at the Art Institute of Chicago School.  He found himself more interested in the Museum’s master works in the upstairs galleries than he was by his instructors in the classroom!  Leaving the School in 1936, he signed on to the WPA/FAP, until it closed when World War II began.

At the new Bauhaus in Chicago under Moholy-Nagy , he explored influences of the cubist revolution, classical abstraction and Kandinsky.  With the flow of European artists to the United States during the 1930s, ‘surrealism’ stimulated artists such as Arshile Gorky, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollack, David Smith …and Emerson Woelffer.

During the 1940s, through an art school acquaintance, Woelffer and his photographer wife, Dixie, moved to the Yucatan in Mexico revelling in the precolumbian artifacts on all sides.   He responded creatively to his first exhibition of African and Oceanic carvings; he collected as much as he painted!
 
The Woellfers returned to the United States in 1954, and following re  nowned printer / director Laurence Barrett, Woelffer explored lithography and became teaching/director of painting at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.  After a couple of years, the island of Ischia was his next stop…for three years!  He returned to the U.S. in 1960 to teach painting and design at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles.  In 1961 he accepted a fellowship at Tamarind Lithography Workshop, returning in 1970 for his second fellowship there.

Untitled-T391
Untitled-T391

Philosophically, reflecting his friendship with Jackson Pollock, Woelffer  used spontaneity, paint spatters, scratched lines, vigorous gestures, torn edges and simulated torn edges that gave his work a sense of immediacy.  He progressed steadily towards simplification.  But as friend Motherwell said:

“Emerson Woelffer has never wavered in his commitment to Abstract Expressionism….”          Robert Motherwell, March 1977

Woelffer’s aesthetic vocabulary drew from the figure and from surrealism.  Surrealist automatism and primitivism led to his intuitive expressiveness.  Woelffer continued to build a unique body of work in which the calligraphic stroke, arcs, angles and non-objective forms are reductions from the figure, nature and primitive art.  He included lithographs, paintings, drawings, collages and sculpture as his techniques.

EMERSON WOELFFER Untitled - Colorado Springs
Untitled – Colorado Springs
EMERSON WOELFFER Tri-Color
Tri-Color

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMERSON WOELFFER Untitled (Plinth)
Untitled (Plinth)
Untitled Zen
Untitled Zen
EMERSON WOELFFER Untitled (Cycladic)
Untitled (Cycladic)

Other Works Available 
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JUNE WAYNE (1918-2011)
June Wayne came to Los Angeles from Chicago in the 1940s. One of her first goals was to meet Lynton Kistler and his Lithography Workshop; she had already explored lithography and wanted to develop in that medium.

When I was working in Jake Zeitlin’s big red barn of a bookstore (1972-1976) I found that I HAD TO live with “The Curious’, a lithograph that she made at Kistler’s workshop in 1953. When I met her and told her I had purchased it personally, she revealed her technique of using ‘stop-outs’ in the form of LIMA BEANS strategically placed on the stone before she sprayed tusche onto the stone. Her spraying tool was a ‘Flit’ gun!

In 1981, I acquired Lynton Kistler’s studio archives of lithographs, which included a number of her images. Prompted by the images, I learned about her relationships with scientists (chrystallic forms), professionals in all fields, artists, politicians and the art press writers which gave me insight into her amazing powers of analysis, psychology and humanism. She awed me.

Always challenging – often combative – always stimulating, interesting and informative, my relationship with June Wayne was a steady one from our very beginnings. I valued her friendship, her art and I cherish the memories.

JUNE WAYNE The Bride
The Bride
JUNE WAYNE The Suitor
The Suitor
JUNE WAYNE The Advocate
The Advocate
JUNE WAYNE The Sanctified
The Sanctified
JUNE WAYNE The Hero - Kafka Series
The Hero – Kafka Series
JUNE WAYNE Nevelson
Nevelson

Other Works Available  Click on the Images or Contact Us for Full Information


Leonard Edmondson
1916 – 2002

I was privileged to show Leonard Edmondson’s art in my gallery over the last dozen years of his life. More importantly, Leonard became a mentor, a guide, a friend to me. What a gentle man! Whether a solo exhibition or as a part of a group display, he was generous in his participation. 

Leonard was a leading member of the southern California art scene: he created etchings, screenprints, paintings, drawings, watercolors.. while teaching and writing a ‘how to’ text on the etching technique that still in use today!

We show here a limited number of his etchings, but invite your queries.

LEONARD EDMONDSON Made in the USA
Made in the USA
Untitled Etching and aquatint
Untitled
Untitled color etching
Untitled

 

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YNEZ JOHNSTON   1920 – 2019 

With heavy heart, we confirm the death of Ynez Johnston – dear, sweet, quiet, imaginative, inventive, creative YNEZ JOHNSTON.  In her modest self-effacement, she blossomed with John Berry, her loving and supportive husband.

We’ve been entranced by YNEZ JOHNSTON’s personal narratives and idiosyncratic techniques.  She loved jewel like colors in crating imaginary, romantic, mystic cultures – fantastickingdoms, exotic structures and magical setting that suggest teeing cities, ambiguous landscapes, voluptuous royal trappings, strange animals and improbable vehicles.

In 1951 she moved from Berkeley to Los Angeles to teach at Chouinard Art Institute.  Earning recognition from museums, curators, galleries and collectors internationally, she and John travelled in India and Europe, evident in her etchings, woodcuts, collages, paintings, wood and bronze sculptures.

But – in Los Angeles all these years, she simply spun her fascinating narratives, dazzling me and all.  I miss her stories and the lunches at the Mexican restaurant! 

We all will miss her.

YNEZ JOHNSTON Cosmic Mountain
YNEZ JOHNSTON Cosmic Mountain

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Putting It All Together

Artists use various media, materials, detritus – which become the tools and languages through which to express themselves: watercolors, pencils, charcoal, pigments, pastels, torn paper, board, canvas, objects, plaster, stone, photographs, digital printers, wood, junk, shells, bones, foil, wax,……WAIT A MINUTE!…..JUNK!?!?

 

GORDON WAGNER A Piece of Pieces From the Sea
GORDON WAGNER
A Piece of Pieces From the Sea
GORDON WAGNER 
Shrine Box Assemblage
JULES ENGEL E-5
JULES ENGEL
E-5
JULES ENGEL Aqua Stack
JULES ENGEL
Aqua Stack
GEORGE HERMS Silver Rose
GEORGE HERMS
Silver Rose
GEORGE HERMS Polished Love
GEORGE HERMS
Polished Love
WILLIAM DOLE Sneaky Pete
WILLIAM DOLE
Sneaky Pete
WILLIAM DOLE Proxy
WILLIAM DOLE
Proxy
What’s wrong with picking up a guitar pic, a cracked violin bow, a manuscript, a photograph, a broken comb, a weathered piece of wood, thrown up on the sand by surging waves…and then assembling a free-standing structure or a composition on a sheet of paper or board?….nothing!

THAT is Putting it All Together – creating ‘something’ from ‘nothing’.

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JUNE WAYNE 1918 – 2011

JUNE WAYNE arrived in Los Angeles with prior experience as an artist, as a manager of the Federal Arts Project office in Chicago and with an interest in lithography. She sought out Lynton Kistler’s Lithography Workshop and began a mutual challenge to develop the medium.
JUNE WAYNE The Cavern II
The Cavern II
JUNE WAYNE The Hunter
The Hunter

JUNE WAYNE The Bride
The Bride

JUNE WAYNE The Suitor
The Suitor

JUNE WAYNE The Advocate
The Advocate
JUNE WAYNE The Witnesses I
The Witnesses I
JUNE WAYNE The Witnesses II
The Witnesses II

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JULES ENGEL 1909 – 2003

Jules Engel arrived in Hollywood in mid-1930s. Abstraction, color and architecture were his focus. But then – in order to earn a living – he held a job in commercial animation before he stepped into the production of “Fantasia” at Walt Disney Studios. Animation was the future.

In the 1960s, he painted and made abstract films in Italy and France before returning to Los Angeles to make lithographs at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop and at Gemini Graphics Editions Limited – yes, colorful, abstract and geometric compositions.

Making a major career change in 1970, Jules Engel joined the newly formed California Institute of the Arts(CalArts) as Founding Director of the Department of Experimental Abstract Animation on Film, a position he held until his death.

JULES ENGEL Green Interior
Green Interior
JULES ENGEL E-5
E-5
JULES ENGEL Aqua Stack
Aqua Stack
JULES ENGEL Night City
Night City
JULES ENGEL Pink Rimmed Panel
Pink Rimmed Panel
Jules Engel worked in all media: paintings, drawings, collages, films, sculpture, etchings and lithographs. For this web page we focus upon geometric, abstract collages that reveal ideas fermenting in his creative genius.

We plan to reveal his paintings and drawings in subsequent weeks we but encourage you to visit our website in the meantime!

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Limitless Space

Oskar Fischinger’s passion for motion in space is evident through his ‘hand’ – that is, through his paintings, drawings and films. Fischinger’s imagery doesn’t require ‘moving pictures’ in the usually sense – his imagery ‘moves’ on its own, visually. 

These paintings reveal rhythms that also encompass sound – as in melodies!….not aural as in activation of ear drums…sound as ‘felt’ visually.  Oskar Fischinger’s art is to be LIVED with on a daily basis – to enjoy – to feel the pleasure of music and space.

OSKAR FISCHINGER Grids in Space
Grids in Space
OSKAR FISCHINGER Light Source
Light Source
OSKAR FISCHINGER Deep Space
Deep Space
OSKAR FISCHINGER Abstraction #17
Abstraction #17

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Juxtaposition 

Over these forty years, I had a focus on the art and artists of California 1930s – 1980s. I enjoyed the treasured friendships AND the art of many fine artists. Time is a continuum; they and I are leaving the scene open to ever-new waves of young artists with exciting new expressions and techniques! Open yourselves and enjoy!!!

However, true to form, I still can share in specific imagery and media that identify the 1930s-1980s era and predict the future!!! I’ve always responded to the artists who spot, save, create the ‘new’ from links of the past through assemblage and collage: Gordon Wagner, George Herms, Emerson Woelffer, Michael McMillan, Betye Saar, Werner Drewes, Jules Engel, Basil Langton, William Dole, to name but a few.
Do you respond as I do?

GORDON WAGNER Shrine Box
GORDON WAGNER
Shrine Box
GORDON WAGNER Seven Actors
GORDON WAGNER
Seven Actors
GEORGE HERMS Light My Fuse
GEORGE HERMS
Light My Fuse
GEORGE HERMS Silver Rose
GEORGE HERMS
Silver Rose
.
BETYE SAAR Keep for Old 'Memoirs'
BETYE SAAR
Keep for Old ‘Memoirs’
BETYE SAAR The Couple
BETYE SAAR
The Couple
BASIL LANGTON Red Rhythm
BASIL LANGTON Red Rhythm
BASIL LANGTON Boy with Girl I/Boy with Girl II
BASIL LANGTON
Boy with Girl I/Boy with Girl II

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Art to Live With