John Altoon (1925-1965)
“Untitled”, 19×19 inches,
John Altoon (1925-1965) is the first major retrospective devoted to this little-known yet important artist whose brief but significant career unfolded in southern California from the 1950s until his untimely death in 1969 at age 43.
Trained as a commercial illustrator as well as a fine artist, Altoon developed both an abstract vocabulary influenced by Abstract Expressionism and a figurative style (often erotically charged and with socio-political content) that reflected his commercial background. He also developed a hybrid style combining abstraction with figuration. A post-modernist before his time, Altoon had a facility with line, color, and subject matter that resonated with his peers and continues to resonate with artists today.
Exhibitions of his work have been held at the
– Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego,
– Whitney Museum of American Art, New York,
– Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C,
– Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco,
– The Baxter Museum, Pasadena, and
– The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
– 2014 Museum Associates/LACMA (opened June 2014).