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.

Untitled (Red on White Optical)

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

Lorser Feitelson was the senior most artist in the group that came to be known as the “Abstract Classicists” or hard-edge painters. In the 1930s, Feitelson began developing a post-surrealist style of representational painting, which influenced the artist throughout his career. By the mid-1940s, these semi-abstract canvases—which emphasized foreshortened figures, vague horizon lines, and compound vanishing points—gave way to the all-out abstractions of Feitelson’s Magical Forms series. Throughout the 1950s, these investigations of color and form became increasingly minimal. Untitled (Red on White Optical) is nearly emptied out of any pictorial element, leaving only a red stripe moving down the white field of the canvas. The gesture is simple and elegant, yet still retains a formal suggestion of the artist’s earliest post-surreal experiments.

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Works of Art

  • 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

Explore the Archive

  • Abstract Classicists

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