Remembering Hard-Edge Painter June Harwood (1933-2015)
Today we remember artist and local treasure June Harwood (1933–2015) who recently passed away. We celebrate her spirited, visionary artistry and her legacy as a member of the Hard-Edge movement. Her vivid, bold paintings—typically utilizing just two or three colors to distill the simplicity of forms, line, and shape—were thrilling to behold while maintaining a sense of harmony.
Harwood’s inclination toward Hard Edge painting first developed while pursuing her BFA at Syracuse University in the 1950s, where a focus on Abstract Expressionism, classicism, and balance led to her hallmark style. In 1965, she married art critic Jules Langsner (1911–1967), who first coined the term “Hard-Edge” in 1959. Her influence reached far beyond the established art world to young minds and budding artists—she taught at Hollywood High School from 1958-70, moving on to become a professor at Los Angeles Valley College from 1972-94.
Harwood’s paintings can be found in numerous collections, including those of California State University, Los Angeles; Cedars Sinai, Los Angeles; Long Beach Museum of Art; Newport Museum of Art; San Jose Museum of Art; and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
In February of last year, LAMA had the privilege of speaking with Harwood about her work. Her creativity and innovation was apparent in that conversation, and she will be missed.