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The Hanged, 1928

Edward Hagedorn

American, 1902-1982
Oil and India ink on canvas
14-3/8 x 11 in. (36.5 x 28.0 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection
P.1953.267
© Denenberg Fine Arts, Inc.

Not on view

Edward Hagedorn, an exceptional draftsman, briefly attended the San Francisco School of Fine Arts before turning his attention to the groundbreaking art that was being exhibited in the Bay Area. In 1926, while Hagedorn was still honing his craft, Galka Scheyer, the collector, dealer and champion of European modernism, mounted an extremely influential exhibition at the Oakland Art Gallery on the artists known as the Blue Four. The works by Lyonel Feininger, Alexei Jawlensky, Vasily Kandinsky and Paul Klee made a great impression on Hagedorn, and he immediately embraced the expressionist techniques he found there. The reductive, linear quality of this presumed self-portrait, together with the unnatural color and dysmorphic features, ally his work with that of the European modernists. Hagedorn’s accomplished style led Scheyer to request repeatedly that he submit work to her exhibitions. He always refused because, according to a close friend, he was an artist who “had no use for success.”

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