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Female Study, c. 1926-30

Edward Hagedorn

American, 1902-1982
Tempera over graphite on wove paper
24 x 18 in. (61.0 x 45.7 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Anonymous Gift, Courtesy of Denenberg Fine Arts
© Denenberg Fine Arts, Inc.

Not on view

An exceptional draftsman, Edward Hagedorn 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 qualities he found there. Hagedorn’s bold colors and simplification of forms speak directly to lessons learned from the European modernists, but his content, as evidenced here, often
remains traditional in nature. His dedication to figurative subjects, and above all, to the female nude, remained constant throughout his career, and his accomplished style led Scheyer to repeatedly request that he submit work to her exhibitions. Hagedorn always refused because, according to a close friend, he was an artist who “had no use for success.”

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