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 Leonard Kaplan  (1922 - )

About: Leonard Kaplan
 

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Lived/Active: California/New York      Known for: surrealism and figure painting

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Leonard Kaplan
An example of work by Leonard Kaplan
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

The following information was submitted by Deena Harros:

Leonard Kaplan was born January 15, 1922 in New York City, New York.  He won a scholarship in 1940 to study at the Art Student’s League under Reginald Marsh and William Palmer.  He also won an art scholarship to New York University Academy of Allied Arts in the late 1930’s.  At 15, Leonard went to study art at the Henry Street Settlement House where he befriended many of the era’s influential artists such as Paul Cadmus.  Kaplan was taught figure drawing by William Dean Fausett, who invited the young artist to assist him on murals for the WPA.  Kaplan soon worked for the WPA on his own merit and is considered one of the last surviving bohemian artists that participated in Roosevelt’s artist program. 

In 1945, Kaplan and his poet wife Nan Wing moved to Laguna Beach where he quickly established himself in the Southern California art scene.  Norton Simon was an early enthusiastic patron and Kaplan’s work is represented in the permanent collections of the Laguna Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum.

Education:
Scholarship to Art Student’s League, New York City, New York
Studied under Reginald Marsh and William Palmer, 1939
New York University, 1939

Smithsonian Archives of American Art

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
1996    Kissler-Painter Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
1991    Cal State University Fullerton, Fullerton, California
1987    Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, California
1984    Art Institute of Southern California, Laguna Beach, California
1982    Cypress College Fine Art Gallery, Cypress, California
1974    Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach, California
1973    Edward Dean Museum, Cherry Valley, California
1971    McVey-Richter Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1968    Coffee Garden, Corona del Mar, California
1967    University of Arizona Art Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
1965    Wooden Horse Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
1964    Ensign Building, Corona del Mar, California
1963    Gallery Suse Brecher-Parsons, Los Angeles, California
1962    Hidden Village Art Gallery, San Francisco, California
1955    Claremont Art Gallery, Claremont, California
1954    Rosha Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1954    Dixie Hall Studio, Laguna Beach, California
1954    Lucy Bayne Gallery, Beverly Hills, California
1951    Long Beach Art Association, Long Beach, California

Selected Group Exhibitions:
1996    Three Artists Working In Collage, Gallery B, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
1994    “The Generative Spirit”, Art Institute of Southern California, Laguna Beach, California
1993    “Outside the Mainstream in Orange County”, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, California
1982    “Carnal Images”, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, California
1979    “Our Artists – Art in Orange County”, Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, California
1978    “Three Generations of Artists”, Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, California
1955    National Orange Show, San Bernardino, California
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
1954    National Orange Show, San Bernardino, California
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
    Unitarian Exhibit, Los Angeles, California
    Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, California
    Gump’s, San Francisco, California
    Municipal Art Center, Long Beach, California
1953    National Orange Show, San Bernardino, California
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
    Municipal Art Center, Long Beach, California
1952    National Orange Show, San Bernardino, California
    Palos Verdes Art Association, Palos Verdes, California
1951    National Orange Show, San Bernardino, California
    Los Angeles Art Association, California
    Weyhe Gallery, New York City, New York
1950    National Orange Show, San Bernardino, California

Comissions:
Mural for Gimble’s Department Store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Six Murals in plastic, 7x22 for Stix, Baer & Fuller Department Store in St. Louis, Missouri
Two Whalebone sculptures for the Nordic Room, Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, California
Painting for the Halls of Hallmark Collection

Public Space Exhibitions:
Palace of Legion of Honor, San Francisco, California
California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, California
Art Institute of Southern California, Laguna Beach, California
Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, California
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Museum Exhibitions:
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
Pacific Asia Museum
Newport Harbor Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California
Laguna Beach Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California
Edward Dean Museum

Professional  Experience:
Professor, Figurative Drawing, University of California at Irvine, Irvine California 1970-1975
Professor, Figurative Drawing, California State University at Fullerton, Fullerton, California   

Awards:
Los Angeles County Museum of Art Purchase Prize
American Institute of Architects National Award Fine Arts and Craftmanship Nomination - 1954
New York University Grand Prize in Drawing 1934
National Orange County Art Show – First Prize
Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Purchase Prize


Biography from Golden Gallery:
"For many years, Leonard Kaplan has made sanguine drawings which combine lyrical surrealism with figuration, before turning to collage in the 1990s. He constructs the collages out of layers and layers of images drawn from various literary and artistic sources such as old botanical prints, medical journals, and archaeology books.

Kaplan has been a Laguna Beach resident since 1945. Laguna Art Museum has organized a Leonard Kaplan exhibition curated by Tyler Stallings."

This excerpt was taken from the Laguna Art Museum Write-up

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