Explore the Era

Delve into the postwar Los Angeles art world in this online archive, which provides additional material related to the exhibitions on view at the Getty Center. Learn about hipsters and happenings, and the venues across the city where all the action took place through images from the archives and first-hand accounts with the artists.

Magical Space Forms

Magical Space Forms

Magical Space Forms, 1948, Lorser Feitelson. Oil on board. 30 x 39 ¾ in. Collection of Bunty and Tom Armstrong, New York. © Feitelson Arts Foundation, courtesy Louis Stern Fine Arts. © Photography by Gerard Vuilleumier

Lorser Feitelson is one of the founding members of the group of Southern California artists known as hard-edge painters. His Magical Space Forms paintings were included in the 1959 exhibition Four Abstract Classicists alongside those by Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley, and John McLaughlin. The curator of this exhibition, Jules Langsner, worked with the artists to coin the term “abstract classicism” to describe the new style of non-representational painting. The clear, geometric shapes of uniform color in Feitelson’s paintings contrast markedly with the gestural painting of abstract expressionist artists. Feitelson’s tightly fitted forms seem both flat and three-dimensional, and their highly contrasting colors and orthogonal outlines create a sense of dynamic thrust and movement across the surface of the painting. Magical Space Forms reduces color and line to essential expressive elements, creating a harmonious balance of form and space that evokes both rationality and emotion.

Historic Map Locations

Works of Art

  • Untitled (Red on White Optical)

    Untitled (Red on White Optical), 1964, Lorser Feitelson. Oil on canvas. 60 x 40 in. Courtesy of D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc., New York. Image © Feitelson Arts Foundation, courtesy Louis Stern Fine Arts. © Photo by Casey Brown

Explore the Archive

  • Abstract Classicists

    Abstract Classicists meet at Lorser Feitelson’s studio in Los Angeles, May 10, 1959