|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|An abstract painter whose early career was realism, especially urban
street scenes, John Sennhauser began changing his style to
non-objective in the early 1940s. He was born in Switzerland, was
raised in Italy where he studied at the Royal Academy in Venice for two
years and then in 1928, immigrated to the United States, first earning
a living as an architectural draftsman. He studied at Cooper
Union from 1930 to 1933, and then taught at the Leonardo da Vinci Art
School from 1936 to 1942 followed by teaching at the Contemporary
School of Art in New York. He also did some private mural
In 1943, he took a job at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, working
for Hilla Rebay, who became director of the Guggenheim Museum.
About that same time, he began expressing his strong leanings towards
abstraction and described his inspiration as "the flowing of feeling
through my body into my arm . . .to my hand . . . into my brush."
Two years after working with Rebay, he quit as he found her personality
too inflexible. For the next two decades he did art restoration
work and was increasingly active in art organizations, expecially the
American Abstract Artists and the Federation of Modern Painters and
Sculptors. In the 1960s, he eased a bit from non-objective and
abstract expression to figurative painting, and he worked in watercolor
and casein as well as oil.
Virginia M. Mecklenburg. The Patricia and Phillip Frost Collection: American Abstraction, 1930-1945
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