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 Leonard Edmondson  (1916 - 2002)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: abstract expressionist painting, colored etchings

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Ad Code: 3
Leonard Edmondson
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An abstract expressionist painter, printmaker of colored etchings and art educator, Leonard Edmondson spent his career in California where he served as President of the California Watercolor Society and of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society. At the Watercolor Society's annual exhibits at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Edmondson was one of the first "radically modern" painters to have his work accepted. He was also a member of the San Francisco Art Association and the Los Angeles Art Association.

Leonard Edmondson was born in Sacramento, California and studied at the University of California, Berkeley where he earned a Master's Degree in 1942. During World War II, he served in the United States Army and then settled in Pasadena. By 1947, he was on the faculty at Pasadena City College and began exhibiting his abstract expressionist paintings, which by the 1950s, were attracting national attention. Major museums including the Metropolitan, Brooklyn and Museum of Modern Art purchased his work.

Edmondson was an influential teacher, especially of printmaking, which he taught at Otis Art Institute and the California State Unviersity in Los Angeles as well as at Pasadena City College.

Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last, "California Watercolors, 1850-1970"

Biography from Annex Galleries:
Leonard Edmondson was born in Sacramento on June 21, 1916.  He studied at Los Angeles City College, and in 1937 entered the University of California at Berkeley, receiving his B.A. in 1940 and his M.A. in 1942.  Concurrently with beginning teaching in 1947 at the Pasadena City College, Edmondson became absorbed with Klee and Kandinsky and their influence can be seen in his imagery.

He took a class in etching in 1951 from Ernest Freed and the following year his print, Heralds of Inquiry, won an award at an annual exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum.  His first solo museum exhibition at the De Young Memorial Museum in 1952 was followed by solos at the Pasadena Art Museum and the Santa Barbara Museum.

His talent brought him two Tiffany Fellowship awards as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship. Edmondson also taught at the Otis Art Institute, University of California at Berkeley (summers of 1960 & 1964), Pratt Institute, and in 1964 he was appointed chairman of the printmaking department at California State University in Los Angeles.  In 1967 a retrospective of his work was held at the San Francisco Museum of Art and he published his technical treatise, Etching, in 1970.

Biography from Tobey C. Moss Gallery:
Leonard Edmondson's art has leanings towards Abstract Surrealism; aside from very early figuration, he is more concerned with drawing in space. Using both bold colors and a full tonal range of black and white, Edmondson creates imagery with a dynamic sense of movement.

Widely celebrated as a printmaker, Edmondson is equally powerful in drawing, painting and collage. His eccentric employment of random tools creates startling visual effects that always imply movement.

Biography from Crocker Art Museum Store:
Painter, printmaker, teacher. Born in Sacramento, CA on June 12, 1916. Edmondson earned an MA. degree at UC Berkeley. He was a resident of Oakland until joining the Army in 1941. After the war he taught at Pasadena City College (1947-56) and then at California State University in Los Angeles until retiring in 1986.

He died in Pasadena on July 22, 2002.

Member: Calif. WC Society; Calif. PM Society. Exh: SFAA, 1941-46; AIC, 1948; SFMA, 1949; MM, 1952; LACMA, 1947-58; PAFA, 1951-58; De Young Museum, 1952 (solo); Pasadena Museum, 1953 (solo); Santa Barbara Museum, 1953, 1966. lnvw; WWAA 1953-70.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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Leonard Edmondson is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Abstract Expressionism

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