Magical Space Forms exemplifies Lorser Feitelson’s transition from post-surrealism to Hard-edge abstraction.
Raised in New York City, Feitelson studied in Paris off and on between 1919 and 1926. When he returned to the US, he moved to California with his wife Helen Lundeberg, also a painter. Influenced by the Surrealist figures of Matisse and Duchamp, Feitelson and Lundeberg pioneered the post-surrealist movement. Their objective was to refocus surrealism from the unconscious to conscious, carefully selected subjects pertaining to universal themes such as love, life, and death.
This artwork is one in a series that he painted during the 1950s and 60s. While the “magical space” theme is evocative of his previous subject matter as a post-surrealist, the style is that of Hard-edge abstraction (also called Abstract Classicism). In this work, he uses flat, precisely defined forms and bold blocks of color to develop “visual activity”—spatial relations evoking movement. Feitelson’s Magical Space Forms paintings were included in the 1959 exhibition Four Abstract Classicists, alongside artworks by Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley, and John McLaughlin. Together, these four artists formed the core of the California school of Hard-edge abstract painting.
Artist: Lorser Feitelson
Title: Magical Space Forms
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimension: 44 5/8 x 49 1/2 in. (113.35 x 125.73 cm)
Collection: The Buck Collection at the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art
Copyright: © September 10, 2018 The Feitelson / Lundeberg Art Foundation