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 Edouard Antonin Vysekal  (1890 - 1939)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: mod figure, landscape, portrait

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Ad Code: 2
Edouard Antonin Vysekal
from Auction House Records.
A Figure in Shadows
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia on March 17, 1890 into a family of artists. Edouard Vysekal began his art studies in Prague and, after joining his father in St Paul, MN in 1907, studied at the AIC under Vanderpoel, and later with Stanton MacDonald-Wright, Harry M. Walcott, and Morgan Russell.

He taught at the Art Institute from 1912-14 and married one of his pupils, Luvena Buchanan.  In 1914 the couple came west to execute a mural commission in the Barbara Worth Hotel in El Centro, CA.  Opting to remain in California, he established a studio home in the Hollywood Hills.

He taught in Los Angeles at the Art Students League, and from 1922-39 at Otis Art Institute.  Vysekal's bold, modern figure studies won many awards in southern California before his death in Los Angeles on Dec. 2, 1939.

Exh: AIC, 1911, 1912 (prizes); Palette & Chisel Club (Chicago), 1912-14; Calif. Art Club, 1916-38 (awards); Friday Morning Club (LA), 1916, 1920, 1930; Daniell Gallery LA), 1916; LACMA, 1916, 1921 (solos), 1927 (with Mabel Alvarez), 1929 (with Boris Deutsch), 1940 (solo); Calif. Liberty Fair, 1918; Modern Art Workers (LA), 1919-26; Laguna Beach AA, 1920s; Painters & Sculptors of LA, 1920-38; Calif. WC Society, 1921-45; Western Painters, 1922-25; LA AA, 1924; Chamber of Commerce (Hollywood), 1926; Calif. State Fair, 1926; Hollywood Woman's Club, 1929 (with wife); Artists of So. Calif., 1930; Oakland Art Gallery, 1932; Public Works of Art Project, 1934; Academy of Western Painters, 1935-38; USC, 1942.

Collections:: Mission Inn (Riverside); Barbara Worth Hotel (El Centro); Thomas Starr King & John Marshall High Schools (Riverside); UCLA; State Exposition Bldg (LA).
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
American Art Annual 1917-33; Who's Who in American Art 1936-41; Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); Los Angeles Times, 7-20-1930 & 12-9-1939 (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:
Edouard Antonin Vysekal (1890-1939)

Edouard Vysekal was best known as a Post-Impressionist who painted bold figures with a bight palette. He shifted his focus to landscape painting in the 1920's but was still associated with an elite group of California Impressionists. He was born in Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia in 1890. The members of his family were artists and Vysekal himself studied art in Prague before moving to the United States in 1907. He attended the Chicago Art Institute and eventually became part of the faculty there in 1912. He married one of his students and the couple moved to California to pursue careers in art.

Vysekal taught at the Art Students League in Los Angeles, California, and exhibited his paintings with a group of local Modernists who called themselves the Group of Eight. In 1921 his paintings were part of the first exhibition of the California Watercolor Society. He also participated in solo and group shows at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art between 1916-1929. He taught painting and life drawing at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles starting in 1922 until 1939. Vysekal became known for his landscapes and cityscapes, which often depicted urban scenes of Los Angeles not commonly seen, such as his rendition of the oil pools at the La Brea tar pits. Edouard Vysekal died in Los Angeles in 1939.

Biography from Spencer Jon Helfen Fine Arts:
Equally adept at oil and watercolor painting, Edouard Vysekal was one of Los Angeles’s early proponents of Modernism.  Skilled in the techniques of figural and landscape painting as well as still lifes, Vysekal pushed the boundaries of these traditional genres with his bold use of color and contour, and was one of a small group of Southern California artists who went even further to explore and extend the boundaries of Modernism.

Edward Antonin Vysekal was born into a family of artists in Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, in 1890, and studied art in Prague before emigrating to join his father in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the age of 17.  Vysekal studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and exhibited there in 1911 and 1912, as well as at Chicago’s Palette & Chisel Club. As an instructor at the Institute from 1912 to 1914, Vysekal met Luvena Buchanan, one of his students who he later would marry.

When Luvena received a commission in 1914 to paint murals in the Hotel Barbara Worth in the town of El Centro at the very southern tip of California, Vysekal accompanied her.  The Vysekals remained on the West Coast, established a studio home in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, and continued to pursue their painting careers. Starting in 1916, Vysekal’s works were included in exhibitions at the Daniell Gallery, the Friday Morning Club, the California Art Club, and the Los Angeles Museum.

At Los Angeles’s Art Students League in 1918, Vysekal joined a small group of artists led by Stanton Macdonald Wright. Edouard Vysekal and Nicholas Brigante were two of Wright’s first students, and both began painting Modernist watercolors, though these works were initially unpopular with critics in a still-conservative Los Angeles.

By the 1920s Vysekal was teaching at the Art Students League and exhibiting with a group of local Modernists called the Group of Eight, which included Mabel Alvarez, Vysekal and his wife Luvena, Donna Schuster and Clarence Hinkle; and in 1921 Vysekal’s work was included in the first California Water Color Society exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art.

Through the 1920s and 1930s, Vysekal exhibited widely, with a solo show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1921, a show there with Mabel Alvarez in 1927, and another with Boris Deutsch in 1929. He also exhibited with Los Angeles’s Modern Art Workers, The Los Angeles Art Association, Painters & Sculptors of Los Angeles, the California Water Color Society, the Laguna Beach Art Association, and the Oakland Art Gallery in Oakland, California, among many others.

Edouard Vysekal taught life drawing and painting at the Otis Art Institute for 17 years, until 1939 when he died in Los Angeles at age 49.  A second solo exhibition of Vysekal’s paintings was held posthumously at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1940.

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Edouard Vysekal is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
The California Art Club

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