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.

Blue Planet

Blue Planet

Blue Planet, 1965, Helen Lundeberg. Acrylic on canvas. 60 x 60 in. The Marilynn and Carl Thoma Collection. © Feitelson Arts Foundation, courtesy Louis Stern Fine Arts

In the mid-1940s, artists in Los Angeles began developing new forms of painting and sculpture that offered a uniquely Californian take on modern art. Hard-edge painting is a form of abstraction in which geometric forms are delineated by clean painted borders. Artists working in this style, including Helen Lundeberg, emphasized unified composition, rhythmic patterning, balanced geometric shapes, and complementary color relationships. Blue Planet is one of many works by Lundeberg that draw on organic forms found in nature, recalling not only planets but pools of water and islands as well. Although many of her canvases are dominated by angular, geometric shapes, Lundeberg also created more curvilinear compositions. The nesting, circular forms of Blue Planet produce a cool, soft composition while still retaining the clearly defined borders that characterize hard-edge painting.

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Exhibition audio: More about Lundeberg’s work

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  • Abstract Classicists

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

  • Helen Lundeberg

    Helen Lundeberg in front of one of her paintings. Photo by Frank J. Thomas. Courtesy of the Frank J. Thomas Archives