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 Harvey Leepa  (1892 - 1977)

About: Harvey Leepa


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Lived/Active: New York/California      Known for: abstract expressionist painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Harvey Leepa was born in Russia and studied at Oxford University, Academie Jean Paul Laurens, Ecole des Beaux Arts, and the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris, and immigrated to the United States in 1919, teaching at Columbia University.

"In 1937 Leepa departed from an expressionist style to experiment in a technique he later called fluxism. Using watercolor as a medium, he allowed flowing colors to combine freely on water-saturated paper and the finished composition gradually emerged as various portions were kept in flux. His early efforts in this technique were contemporary with the flux-paintings in oil and lacquer which Knud Merrild was creating in Los Angeles but there was no contact between the two artists. A few years later, Hans Hoffman painted some little dripped pictures, which in turn anticipated the monumental canvases of Jackson Pollock." (quote by Thomas W. Leavitt, director of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara News-Press, Sunday Morning, July 2, 1967)

Solo Exhibitions: Phoenix Art Museum, 1967; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1967; Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego , Balboa Park, 1968; California Palace of The Legion of Honor, San Francisco 1968; Barnsdall Museum, Los Angeles Department of Municipal Art 1969.

Selected Group Exhibitions: California National Watercolor Society, 49th Annual Exhibition, 1969 (prize)

David J Carlson, Carlson Gallery, California. Carlson's specialty is Post-World War II California artists, and he is preparing a catalogue for a 2004 traveling exhibition of these artists to several California museums.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Russia on March 29, 1892, the son of a czarist general,  Leepa began painting as a child and, after his education at Oxford University in England, studied art in Paris at Ecole des Beaux Arts and Académie Julian.  He immigrated to NYC in 1919.  After teaching art at Columbia University for a few years, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as an art director for the film studios.   In 1942 he moved to Santa Barbara and remained there until his demise on Sept. 1, 1977.

Exh: City Hall (LA), 1969.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Who's Who in American Art 1940; Los Angeles Times, 2-16-1969; Art Week, 2-12-1972; Death record.
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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