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Untitled, 1965

John Altoon

American, 1925-1969
Sheet: 22 x 30 in. (55.9 x 76.2 cm); Image: 20 x 27 in. (50.8 x 68.6 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Anonymous Gift, 1967
© 2011 Estate of John Altoon, Braunstein/Quay Gallery

Not on view

Printmaking came as a natural extension to the work of the exquisite draftsman John Altoon. Responsible for bringing gestural painting to Los Angeles, this charismatic artist and member of the Ferus group positioned himself at the center of the development of painting in the city. Altoon’s work is distinguished by his incredible facility with paint, pen and pastel, his biomorphic forms—often suggestive of figures or anatomy—and his sophisticated palette. He was a guest artist at Tamarind Lithography Workshop in 1965 before returning there as a fellow, along with a wave of his Los Angeles peers, in 1968. Altoon’s proficiency as a draftsman translated beautifully to lithography, as evidenced by the fluid line that defines his playfully colorful series of floating gestures against the white of the paper.

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