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Artist Studio: Alan Lachman

Alan Lachman
Lachman Gallery, Peddler's Village, Street Road
Lahaska, PA  18931
Phone: 215-794-5500

Born: 1936 (New York City)

Lived/Active: New York/Pennsylvania

Profession(s): Painter

Known for: Landscape, Figural, Abstract, Bucks County Impressionist

Style(s): Contemporary, Luminist, American Impressionist, Expressionist/Colorist/Figuration/Realist/Academic

Medium(s): Oil, Pastel, Acrylic, Mixed Media

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 Alan Lachman
Old Friends
For Sale
  Alan Lachman
On My Own Terms
For Sale

Artist Biography:
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 Americo Difranza, one of America’s greatest pastelists, where he quickly fell in love with pastels as well as 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.  He was honored and received “Best of Show, The Joseph Giffuni Memorial Award” presented at the 20th Annual National Exhibition by the Pastel Society of America at the National Arts Club in New York City.  This award is the highest honor bestowed upon any U.S. pastelist annually.  He was further honored as a Director on the Board of Control of the Pastel Society of America and 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 and drawn thousands of works which include landscapes, barns, figurative and still life.  Known as a colorist for his luminous landscapes and painterly style, his paintings are both expressionistic and realistic at the same time. Lachman’s influences can be drawn from Van Gogh, Rothko, Degas and Emil Nolde.

Recognized for his expressive paintings of barns, landscapes, figurative and still life, 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.”

As a painter, teacher, author and juror for over five decades, Lachman has received numerous awards throughout his career.  He was honored for his lifetime achievements and contributions in American art by “Who’s Who in American Art” (2005-2006), as well as numerous interviews and articles written about his varied approaches to art.  

In 2001, the first time in its history, the Canadian government decided to publicly address and institute its first census of its homeless population.  Respected for his impressive and important life size paintings representing the homeless as human beings rather than downtrodden, four images of Lachman’s figurative homeless paintings were 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 his biography is why he settled in Bucks County, PA.
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 which they immediately purchased.  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 continue to garner the attention of art collectors both locally and nationally for fine art investment.  His work is represented in many prestigious 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)
Doylestown Hospital, Bucks County,PA, Permanent Exhibit
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

Exhibition Record (Galleries and Art Shows):
Over the past 55 years, Al Lachman's paintings have been exhibited throughout the U.S. including the Bartlow Gallery in Chicago; Gallery on Fifth in Naples, FL; and
Lachman Gallery in Bucks County, PA. (See Biography)

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

Artist Statement:

The artist puts his thumb upon the pulse of life and records it.  In that mystical beat lies the unknown, and he would but make it known.  Being both innovator and spectator, he exists as an intrinsic part of that rhythm.

Each painting begins with a premise, and I rarely use the same one twice.  It is based on what I see and what I am feeling at that moment.  I do not think that painting is about technique.  It is about a particular perception of the world around us. The premise creates the periphery of my intent.  It is a limitation which gives birth
to the creative forces within me.

This approach takes us into uncharted waters with each new painting.  Adventure
awaits us and we are not limited by our knowledge or lack of it.  Creativity comes
from inspiration, and we are inspired and influenced by others, by their uniqueness.  
I believe that everyone is special and has something to offer.  This is how we grow,
by giving of ourselves to others, and by so doing we give value to our lives.  I want to thank all of the wonderful people in my life who have shared their uniqueness with me and helped make me more than I was.

Review of Artist's Work:
“The approach that Al Lachman takes when creating his artwork is a combination made up of a thorough academic grounding and fresh, original expression of ideas.  His palette ranges from pastel to deep jewel tones.  Everything is in motion.  At second glance,
however, a depth of emotions and social consciousness is revealed.  The viewer is gradually made aware of the range of reflective undertones. We come to realize that Lachman has observed and understood the complexities of life, and has skillfully depicted both the joy as well as the difficulties that life affords.”

        -  Erika Jaeger-Smith, Associate Curator of Exhibitions
                   James A. Michener Art Museum

“While most of the ‘contemporary’ artists of the Delaware Valley are riding on the coat tails of the Pennsylvania Impressionists, Al Lachman is blazing his own trail.  He has his own unique technique and use of color that is visionary and modern, a refreshing observation of the Bucks County scene.”

                   Paul Steven Gratz, Conservator & Owner
                   Gratz Gallery, New Hope, PA

“Al Lachman is one of a very few artists, another being Wolf Kahn,
whose work is fresh and new while remaining true to the traditional values
associated with museum quality painting.  His use of materials and colors
set him apart as a visionary genius.”

                Peter Bartlow,
                        Owner of Peter Bartlow Gallery, Chicago, IL

“Al Lachman’s gift to us comes through his sharing of some deep moment of
his soul. The aliveness, the emotional resonance and the powerfully saturating
presence of his work, is a feast for all those who hunger for the ‘truth’ that
art contains.”
           Charles Ashbach
                   Psychologist, Art Collector & Critic

“He is committed to painting every day.  Loving his work, he can and often loses track of time.  Totally focused on the work at hand, scarcely hearing the music he loves, he constantly experiments with materials, surfaces and different approaches.  He always looks for different ways and techniques to accomplish his vision.”

                       Doris Brandes, Author
                           Artists of the River Towns

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