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 Alan Lachman  (1936 - )      Visit this Artist's Studio on AskART

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Lived/Active: New York/Pennsylvania      Known for: modernist-leaning landscape, expressionism, colorist, impressionism

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An example of work by Alan Lachman
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in 1936 in New York City, Alan Lachman studied at Syracuse University, the School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League in New York City where he studied under Robert Philipp, who at the time was called “one of the ten best painters in America” by critic Henry McBride.  Robert Philipp took Lachman under his wing and invited Lachman on several occasions to his studio at Carnegie Hall.  It was under Philipp’s persistent tutelage that Lachman developed his painterly approach.  His passion for color and expressionism would come later.

Lachman also studied at the Art Students League with pastelist Americo Difranza and quickly fell in love with pastels as well as keeping his passion for oils.  He later filled in for Difranza as instructor for several months at the League when Difranza became ill. 

In the ensuing years, Lachman became known for his pastels as well as his oil paintings.  At the 20th Annual National Exhibition of the Pastel Society of America at the National Arts Club in New York City, he received the Society's highest award, “Best of Show, The Joseph Giffuni Memorial Award”.   He also was elected a Director on the Board of Control of the Pastel Society of America.  Lachman is also one of the original founders and first instructors of the PSA School for Pastels, which is the only one of its kind in the U.S.

During the course of his professional career as a fine artist, Lachman has painted  landscapes, barns, figurative and still life.  Known as a colorist for his luminous landscapes and painterly style, he does paintings that are both expressionistic and realistic. Lachman’s influences can be drawn from Vincent Van Gogh, Mark Rothko, Edgar Degas and Emil Nolde.

Lachman paints intuitively, pouring himself into the painting while inviting the viewer to accompany him on a journey. “The advantage artists have is that they have a vehicle to communicate their uniqueness,” according to Lachman, explaining his philosophy. “When we communicate our uniqueness to other people, we create value in their lives, and by doing so, we add value to our own.  If we can all find a way to do that, artist or not, I believe that is our purpose in life.”

He displayed an early talent for drawing and painting and was encouraged by his mother and father.  In his book, Expressions, he credits his father for his inspirational abilities.  “My father was a union organizer at a time when unions and companies use to beat each other up with baseball bats.  He had a rough exterior, but was incredibly sensitive person on the inside.  He exposed me to nature and art early on, and he taught me the essence of inspiration.  When I was a teenager, I loved to draw but I loved to play stickball as well where I grew up in the Bronx.  One day, when I was playing stickball from day until night, my father came outside and told me to go inside and draw.  I said to him, Dad, I'm just not inspired.  In his gruffest manner, he replied, 'Get in the house and draw!'  From that moment on, I never lacked for inspiration.  I can draw and paint anywhere at anytime... thanks, Dad.”

In 2001, the first time in its history, the Canadian government decided to publicly address and institute its first census of its homeless population.  Known for representing the homeless as human beings rather than downtrodden in his artwork, Lachman had four paintings of figurative homeless subjects chosen to be shown across Canada to encourage public awareness of the plight of the homeless.  These particular paintings, including On My Own Terms and Man with a Broken Thumb, were later exhibited as part of “The Contemporary Eye” exhibit at the James A. Michener Art Museum in New Hope in early 2005.

Lachman was also the first American artist invited to conduct a pastel workshop for the Pastel Society of Canada in Ottawa, Canada.  He continues to conduct national workshops throughout the U.S.

An important aspect of Lachman's career is his settling in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  As many of the Pennsylvania impressionist landscape painters before him, Lachman was drawn to the natural beauty of Bucks County and its surroundings.  In the early 1980’s, while he and his wife, Arlene, were dating, they came upon an old stone mill on one of the most beautiful and historical roads in Bucks County…Cuttalossa Road.  They decided that if it ever became for sale, they would buy it.  As fate would have it, during a visit from Chicago where they resided at the time, they had occasion to travel back to Bucks County in the summer of 1999.  As they drove down that road and came upon the old stone mill, it was up for sale that very day, and they immediately purchased it.  This property was originally part of the estate of another renowned American impressionist landscape painter, Daniel Garber (1880-1958) of New Hope, PA.

Lachman’s paintings are represented in public and private collections including the Ford Motor Company; Northwest Airlines; the Walt Disney Corporate Collection; Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw; and The Hershey Corporation.


Art Students League, NYC - studied with Robert Philipp (American, 1895-1981) and
Americo M. DiFranza (American, 1919-2004)
School of Visual Arts, NYC
Syracuse University, NY

2006, Maureen Bloomfield and James A Markle,  Pure Color - The Best of Pastel, F+W Publications, 143 pages (color)
2006, Editors, Marquis Who's Who in American Art (color)
2005, Marquis Publishing Who's Who in American Art, 1574 pages (color)
2005, Al Lachman Expressions - Drawings, Paintings, Thoughts - 50 Years of Painting, 101 pages (color)
2002, Doris Brandes, Artists of the River Towns - Their works and their Stories, River Arts Press, 114 pages (color)
2001, Phil Metzger, The Artists Illustrated Encyclopedia, North Light Books, 486 pages (color)
2000, Constance Flavell Pratt, The Best of Pastel, Rockport Publishers, 144 pages (color)
1996, Pratt, Constance; J Monafo, The Best of Pastel (color)
1996, Metzger, Phil The Artists Guide to Materials and Techniques, 192 pages (color)

Exhibition Record: (Museums, Institutions and Awards):
(Partial List)
2005, James A. Michener Art Museum, PA - The Contemporary Eye
Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT
Tampa Museum of Art, FL
Hermitage Foundation Museum, Norfolk, VA
Middlesex County Museum, NJ
Lowe Art Museum, Miami, FL
Las Olas Museum of Art, FL
Boca Museum of Art, FL
Arnot Museum, Elmira, NY

Formerly Member Of: The Pastel Society of America, NYC - a Director on Board of Control
Co-Founder and Instructor of PSA School for Pastels, NYC
The Salmagundi Club
The National Drawing Association
The Pastel Society of Canada
The Pastel Society of Kansas

Magazine and Newspaper References:
(Partial List)
November 2008, Nouveau Magazine
April 2008, The Pastel Journal, Meet the Jurors - 9th Annual Pastel 100
November 2007, Nouveau Magazine
August 2006, The Pastel Journal, Cover & Featured Artist
June 2005, The Pastel Journal
2003, American Art Review
2001, Canadian Government Census - Statistics Canada, The Homeless
2000-2007, Bucks County Herald
2000-2007, The New Hope Gazette
November 1994, The Artist's Magazine

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Colorist Al Lachman studied art at Syracuse University, The School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League in New York City. Though he studied the science of color in his schooling, he works under the philosophy that to be an artist one must be free to break the rules. Regarding color, Lachman says, "If it feels right, it is right. If it feels wrong, it is wrong. When I reach for a color it is intuitive."

Lachman enjoys experimenting with surfaces, grounds, media and genres. His stye is abstract realism yet his technique is always changing as he experiments and tries new methods.

Pastel Journal, June 2005

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