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 Helen Lundeberg  (1908 - 1999)

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Lived/Active: California/Illinois      Known for: modernist landscape, figure, interior and nature painting, murals

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Helen Lundeberg Feitelson is primarily known as Helen Lundeberg

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Ad Code: 3
INTERIOR WITH PAINTING,  acrylic on canvas, 60" x 60"
"Intertior with Painting"
acrylic on canvas, 60" x 60"

Copyright The Feitelson/Lundeberg Art Foundation
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A seminal figure in the art history of Los Angeles, Helen Lundeberg co-founded with her husband, Lorser Feitelson, an art movement called New Classicism, also known as Post Surrealism. It fused the fantastical style of Surrealism with the formal structure of Renaissance painting and made Surrealism "less weird."

Her painting was known for radiating a sense of calm and order, reflecting what she perceived as the laws of nature. She painted many landscapes, but always from memory because she hated painting outdoors. She once said: "The time I tried it, the wind blew, and everything fell over. It was a mess" (Los Angeles Times 4/99).

She was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1908, but she and her family moved to California when she was very young. By the age of sixteen Lundeberg became interested in art and in 1930, she attended the Stickney School of Art in Pasadena. Her teacher, Lorser Feitelson influenced her style greatly and she eventually found new ways to express herself through a more surrealistic approach.

She often used hard-edged geometric shapes of color within her paintings or an intense focus on a single object. Early in her career Lundeberg's art had been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, both in New York. Later in her life she had work shown in the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1980.

Source:
Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein, American Women Artists


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Chicago, IL on June 24, 1908. At age four Helen Lundeberg moved to California with her family and settled in Pasadena. In 1930 she enrolled at the Stickney School of Art in Pasadena where she was greatly influenced by Lorser Feitelson whom she later married. During the 1930s she and Feitelson started an art movement which they termed Post-Surrealism.

During 1933-42 she was a muralist and lithographer for the southern California Federal Art Project. Her 240-foot-curved wall in Centinela Park in Inglewood was done under their auspices as well as murals in Los Angeles' George Washington High School, Venice High School, and Bell (CA) City Hall.

"Hard-edged" is the term often applied to her work.

She died in Los Angeles on April 19, 1999.

Exhibitions:
Stanley Rose Gallery (Hollywood), 1933, 1935 (solos)
San Francisco Museum of Art, 1935, 1976, 1980 (solo)
Brooklyn Museum, 1936
MOMA, 1942
Pasadena Art Inst., 1953 (solo)
Santa Barbara Museum, 1959 (solo)
Whitney Museum, 1962, 1965, 1967
La Jolla Museum, 1971 (solo)
Rutgers University, 1977
LA Municipal Art Gallery, 1979 (solo)
Wight Gallery (UCLA), 1980 (solo)
Palm Springs Desert Museum, 1983 (solo)
Laguna Museum, 1987 (solo)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1988 (solo)
Sesnon Gallery (USC), 1988 (solo)
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Interview with the artist or his/her family; California Arts and Architecture list, 1932; Los Angeles Times, 4-21-1999 (obituary).
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.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Helen Lundeberg was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 24, 1908. She and her family moved to California when she was very young. By the age of sixteen she became interested in art and in 1930 she attended the Stickney School of Art in Pasadena, California. Her teacher, Lorser Feitelson influenced her style greatly and she eventually found new ways to express herself through a more surrealistic approach.

She married Lorser Feitelson, and together they co-founded an art movement called New Classicism, also known as Post Surrealism. Her painting was known for radiating a sense of calm and order, reflecting what she perceived as the laws of nature. She painted many landscapes but always from memory because she hated painting outdoors. She often used hard-edged geometric shapes of color within her paintings or an intense focus on a single object.

Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Sources include:
From the internet, AskART.com
Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers, 1986-87

Biography from Louis Stern Fine Arts:
HELEN LUNDEBERG (1908-1999) “My work has been concerned, in varying modes of pictorial structure and various degrees of representation and abstraction, with the effort to embody, and to evoke, sates of mind, moods and emotions.” H.L.

Helen Lundeberg was born in Chicago and moved to Pasadena, California, with her family in 1912.  She was a gifted child and as a young adult was inclined to become a writer. However, after taking an art class taught by Lorser Feitelson at the Stickney Memorial School of Art in Pasadena, Lundeberg was inspired to pursue a career as an artist.  Along with Lorser Feitelson in 1934, Lundeberg founded Subjective Classicism, better known as Post Surrealism.  Unlike European Surrealism, Post Surrealism did not rely on random dream imagery.  Instead, carefully planned subjects were used to guide the viewer through the painting, gradually revealing a deeper meaning.  This method of working appealed to Lundeberg’s highly intellectual sensibilities.  Themes of Post Surrealism continued in Lundeberg’s paintings until the 1950s, when she began to explore geometric abstraction.

Always based in reality, Lundeberg created mysterious images that exist somewhere between abstraction and figuration.  Repeatedly described as formal and lyrical, Lundeberg’s paintings rely on precise compositions that utilize various restricted palettes. This creates images that posses a certain moodiness or emotional content unique to her work. 

In the 1960s and 1970s, Lundeberg continued her journey through abstraction, exploring imagery associated with landscapes, interiors, still-lifes, planetary forms and intuitive compositions she called enigmas.  In the 1980s, Lundeberg created her final body of work – a confident series of paintings that deal with landscapes and architectural elements.

Throughout her 60-year career, Lundeberg imbued her work with a personal vision, exposing the imaginative world of her mind.  Helen Lundeberg’s works are included in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C., the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and numerous other public and private collections.  Louis Stern Fine Arts is the exclusive representative of the estate of Helen Lundeberg. The catalogue raisonné is currently in progress.

Submitted in May of 2006.

Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art - Beverly Hills:
Helen Lundeberg was born in Chicago in 1908, and moved to Pasadena, California, at the age of four. In 1930, Lundeberg enrolled at the Stickney School of Art, where she began a relationship with her teacher, Lorser Feitelson, who she’d eventually marry.

During the 1930’s, Lundeberg and Feitelson started a uniquely California art movement which they termed Post-Surrealism. In 1936, she, along with others involved in her movement held shows in New York’s Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art. The subject of shows spanning 50 years, Lundeberg died in Los Angeles in 1999.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.


Helen Feitelson is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
California Painters
Women Artists

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