Pioneer of California abstract expressionism, Emerson Woelffer (1914-2003) is known for his profound influence as a teacher on many contemporary artists. He solidified his unique style in the post-war years by depicting primitive imagery with bold colors and sharp edges, seen in one of his most famous paintings Untitled (1949). Much of his work is influenced by his travels to Mexico and Italy, where he learned to use a more minimal approach that incorporated single brush strokes on solid backgrounds. Fascinated by common materials such as strips of paper and glue, he created abstract collages in the 1970s and 80s. His work can be viewed in international collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Himself a high-school dropout, he taught artists such as Ed Ruscha and Larry Bell at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles in the 1960s and continued teaching at Otis College of Art and Design late into his career.
“Emerson Woelffer.” Hackett-Freedman Gallery. ArtInfo, 2011. Web. 25 May 2011.