John Altoon - American Abstract Art

John Altoon (November 5, 1925 - February 8, 1969), an American artist, was born in Los Angeles to immigrant Armenian parents. From 1947–1949 he attended the Otis Art Institute, from 1947 to 1950 he also attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, and in 1950 the Chouinard Art Institute. Altoon was a prominent figure in the LA art scene in the 1950s and 1960s. Exhibitions of his work have been held at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, The Baxter Museum, Pasadena, and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (opened June 2014).
Altoon's work was influenced by the Abstract Expressionism Movement although he is best known for his figurative drawings of the 1960s, with as Leah Ollman describes "a vocabulary of vaguely figurative, botanical and biological forms that he pursued until his death." He was part of the "Ferus group" of artists so called for their association to the Ferus Gallery that operated in Los Angeles in 1957–1966.Some of the other artists included in this group are Edward Kienholz, Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Billy Al Bengston. Cool School documentary film about Altoon and other Ferus Gallery artists, many Ferus artists say John was the most fun and friendliest of all, every where everyone liked him. He could charm anyone.Altoon, during his Ferus Gallery years, did the Ocean Park series which depicted an area around Venice and Santa Monica beach towns in California. The series was 18 paintings as well some works he did on paper. It had the direct from brain to hand & brush approach he was known for:[4] the abstracting of nature on his canvas by pushing through a spontaneous approach, freehand biomorphic in design giving us his interpretation as a direct rendering of the coastal surroundings.Wikipedia

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