The Birth of the Cool - Helen Lundeberg

I gave a keynote talk at Apple on Saturday and one of the artists I talked about is Helen Lundeberg. She’s not that well known unless you’re a painter’s painter. But you should know her. You really should.

She was instrumental in bringing about the amazing California Hard Edge Abstract movement. So much so that she, along with her husband Lorser Feitelson, was included in the book “The Birth of the Cool.

“1950s West Coast style exuded "cool": from the smooth, hypnotic strains of a Miles Davis riff through Richard Neutra's elegant, modernist residences to the hard-edged paintings of Helen Lundeberg and Karl Benjamin.”

Helen’s work really gets me with color. Muted against vibrant, opaque against transparent. She could really work color.

Helen Lundeberg “Great Cloud”

Helen Lundeberg “Great Cloud”

Helen Lundeberg “Islands” 1986

Helen Lundeberg “Islands” 1986

Helen Lundeberg “By the Sea” 1962.

Helen Lundeberg “By the Sea” 1962.

There are a couple of good books on her work:

Helen Lundeberg: A Retrospective

Helen Lundeberg and the Illusory Landscape: Five Decades of Painting

If you’re in the Los Angeles area you can see her work (and Lorser’s) at Louis Stern Fine Arts. I highly recommend it.