The American Abstractionists

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Findlay Galleries is pleased to present a curated selection of abstract works from our esteemed collection of American Abstractionists represented by our galleries in Palm Beach and New York. This roster of American Abstractionists has expanded impressively in recent years as we have proven our success in this market. This survey exhibition features artists from the early 20th Century Modern Abstractionists to the current Contemporary Abstractionists of today. A group, collective and unified, yet diverse in style and medium.

This collection enables the viewer and collector to discern the likeness, differences, and influences between abstract artists of various times and places. The exhibition includes Simeon Braguin, Byron Browne, John Ferren, Ward Jackson, Ronnie Landfield, Frank Lobdell, Leonard Nelson, and Jack Wright.

John Ferren
Green, Violet, Orange, Red,
Oil on canvas
60 x 50 1/2 in.
FG© 137907

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John Ferren was an American painter whose abstractions were influenced by both Vassily Kandinsky and Zen Buddhism. Composed of floating forms within backdrops of solid color. Ferren’s paintings allude to architecture, still life, and landscape while remaining vague. “I placed my hand on a tree trunk and instantaneously felt that every element of the landscape was alive—the light, air, ground, and trees,” he once wrote. “All were interrelated, living the same life and, (this is important in my art) their forms were all interchangeable.”

1905 - 1970

John Ferren
Peace,
Acrylic on canvas
72 x 60 in.
FG© 207483

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John Ferren
Fahadrew,
Oil on canvas
40 x 38 in.
FG© 207475

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John Ferren
Trio,
Oil on canvas
72 1/2 x 56 1/2
FG© 207484

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Frank Lobdell is acknowledged as “an artist’s artist”. He pursued his calling with passion, discipline, and integrity, and he has elevated the creation of art above its reception in the art world.

He painted independently in Minneapolis, and from 1940 to 1942, he enlisted in the US Army and served in Europe during World War II. Returning from service, Lobdell arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1946. Recently married and less than a year out of the Army, he found himself in the company of a small group of artists fervent in their pursuit of the New American Abstraction. The paintings of Frank Lobdell epitomize the strain of Abstract Expressionism in San Francisco furthest removed from the New York School; labored and deliberate, rather than brash and impulsive.

1921 - 2013

Frank Lobdell
Pier 70, 11.25.99,
Oil-based pigments on canvas
57 x 45 in.
FG© 138724

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Frank Lobdell
Pier 70, Spring II 2002,
Oil-based pigments on canvas
60 x 48 in.
FG© 138727

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Frank Lobdell
4/1/1986,
Oil-based pigments on canvas
48 1/8 x 60 in.
FG© 138714

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Frank Lobdell
Francisco Street, Spring II 2004,
Oil-based pigments on canvas
54 x 48 in.
FG© 138732

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Frank Lobdell
27 October 1949,
Oil-based pigments on canvas
93 3/4 x 79 3/4 in.
FG© 139410

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Jack Wright
Untitled (7166),
Acrylic on canvas
58 x 74 in.
FG© 138054

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Jack Wright’s dot-filled canvasses emphasize subtle shifting colors and evoke thoughts of ethereal grandeur, that although mysterious, are also familiar and beckon us to inhabit them. The artist controls the wandering of your eye with patterned brushstrokes that keep our attention drifting along the surface of the canvas. His paintings often have a geometric base that creates a visual platform for us to stand upon as we engage in his shifting luminescent world. In other places, the dots drift together to form energetic masses that manifest the cosmos and phantasmal apparitions.

1919 - 2003

Jack Wright
Untitled (8938),
Watercolor and acrylic on paper
11 3/8 x 5 1/4 in.
FG© 207439

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Jack Wright
Untitled (7948.5),
Acrylic on board
12 1/4 x 16 5/8 in.
FG© 207427

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Jack Wright
In the Other Land,
Acrylic on canvas
58 x 58 in.
FG© 138051

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Jack Wright
Garden Fragment,
Watercolor on paper
10 x 13 7/8 in.
FG© 207431

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Leonard Nelson's long career as a prolific artist and influential art educator spanned more than half of the twentieth century and forged close links with the leading artists and movements of that time in American art history. In his Philadelphia studio, he explored avenues of abstraction and color theory on canvas, board, and paper. His style is unique; he created large beautiful structural-like abstractions using small definitive strokes of various complementing tones. His paintings evoke the viewer's curiosity, to explore further into its multitude of colorful depths. He also taught for 30 years at the Moore College of Art, PA, and retired as a professor emeritus in 1977.

1912 - 1993

Leonard Nelson
Color. Abstr.,
Oil & acrylic on canvas
46 x 50 in.
FG© 133415

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Simeon Braguin
SB 1998.32,
Acrylic on canvas
48 1/4 x 60 in.
FG© 132885

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Simeon Braguin was an unknown Ukrainian immigrant who became a leader in New York fashion illustration, an American spy in World War II, a modern artist, and a mentor to Andy Warhol.

Quietly and privately, he produced enormous bodies of work. Braguin’s paintings were both whimsical and sophisticated, distinguished by an elegant yet playful use of line accompanied by the sensuous color shapes of Matisse and the perfect composition.

His work has found homes in numerous esteemed collections, including the Yale Art Gallery (where he left most of his estate when he died in 1997, as well as where he donated much of his priceless art collection), the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, and the Twentieth Century Foundation Museum.

1907 - 1997

“Powerful in their understatement and wonderful in their evocations.”

Simeon Braguin
SB 1998.5,
Acrylic on canvas
50 x 65 in.
FG© 129346

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Simeon Braguin
SB 1998.1,
Acrylic on canvas
65 x 50 in.
FG© 134471

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Simeon Braguin
02:0523C/95 SB 1998.143,
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 26 in
FG© 129351

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Byron Browne was a founder of Abstract Expressionism and a key figure in the American Avant-Garde scene of the 1930s and 1940s. Born in New York, he spent most of his life there and in Lakewood, NJ. Browne studied at the National Academy of Design and became lifelong friends with another Abstract Expressionist, Arshile Gorky. Browne was such a proponent of Abstract Art that he destroyed his early student works that featured a more traditional style. The influence of Cubism and Surrealism is evident in most of his work, taking cues from Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Joan Miró.

1907 - 1961

Byron Browne
Woman in Black Hat,
India and colored inks and watercolor wash
19 1/2 x 12 1/2 in.
FG© 205917

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Byron Browne
Variations of Haida Masks II,
India ink, gouache and crayon
20 3/4 x 13 /3/4 in.
FG© 205915

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Byron Browne
King and Queen,
Casein tempura
26 x 20 in.
FG© 206449

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Ronnie Landfield
Into the Light,
Acrylic on canvas
91 x 93 in.
FG© 137715

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The lyrical abstractions of Ronnie Landfield have become icons of the modernist color field movement. As a young boy, growing up in New York City, Landfield would visit the avant-garde galleries of the time, inspired by the Abstract Expressionist works of Jackson Pollock, Ad Reinhardt, and Willem de Kooning. In a reaction to the all-over, process-orientated abstraction of the mid-century, Landfield painted his abstractions from nature incorporating the horizon as he uses causal effects of pouring and staining.

b. 1947

Ronnie Landfield
It’s Been a Long, Long Time,
Acrylic on canvas
40 x 75 in.
FG© 138352

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Ronnie Landfield
All Across the World,
Acrylic on canvas
91 x 99 in.
FG© 138364

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Inspired by Piet Mondrian and Josef Albers, Ward Jackson and his hard-edge geometric compositions held a presence in the New York art scene for more than 50 years. His works are in permanent collections, world-class museums and have been included in significant exhibitions.

Jackson was first recognized for his famous black and white paintings. These paintings marked his early use of crisp hard edges and his diamond format. Throughout his life, he continued to develop his style, exploring geometric abstraction with bold vivid colors that complement each other in the most simple yet satisfying way.

1928 - 2004


Virginia River Series-Chickohomanie,
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 36 in.
FG© 137333

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Untitled,
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 36 in.
FG© 137353

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New York City,
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 36 in.
FG© 137355

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Triad II,
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 36 in.
FG© 137344

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Virginia (hexaptych),
Acrylic on canvas
72 x 108 in.
FG© 137337

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