Emerson Woelffer, Untitled, oil on canvas, 1949, private collection
July 27, 1914|
|Died||February 2, 2003(aged 88)|
|Training||Art Institute of Chicago|
Emerson Woelffer (July 27, 1914 - February 2, 2003) was a prominent abstract expressionism artist and painter born in Chicago. He studied Education at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago between 1935 and 1937. In 1938 he joined the WPA Arts Program. In 1949 he taught at Black Mountain College at the request of Buckminster Fuller. Between 1949 and 1959, he lived in Yucatán, Mexico and Forio d'Ischia Naples, Italy. In 1960 he moved to Los Angeles, California and from 1969 to 1973 he taught at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. He taught again between 1974 and 1989 at The Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. One of his students was Kenneth O. Goehring.
In 1970, he was artist-in-residence at the Honolulu Museum of Art. He received the Pollock-Krasner Grant in 1984 and the Francis Greenberger Award, in conjunction with Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of New York City in 1988. In 1991 he received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. He died in Los Angeles in 2003.
Emerson Woelffer is best known for his boldly colored abstract paintings and collages with jagged forms. He also created sculpture and lithographs. Late in his career―suffering from macular degeneration―he began working in white crayon on black paper. The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (Colorado Springs, Colorado ), the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Montana Historical Society (Helena, Montana), the Museum of Art (Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah), the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (La Jolla, California), the Neuberger Museum of Art (Purchase College, Purchase, New York), the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), the Portland Art Museum (Portland, Oregon), the San Diego Museum of Art (San Diego, California), Yellowstone Art Museum (Billings, Montana), and the Asheville Art Museum (Asheville, North Carolina) are among the public collections holding work by Emerson Woelffer.
- Marika Herskovic, American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s An Illustrated Survey, (New York School Press, 2003.) ISBN 0-9677994-1-4
- Woelffer, Emerson, "At the Center + At the Edge, Curated by Brian Butler", Asheville, North Carolina, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, 2008.
- Woelffer, Emerson, Emerson Woelffer, A Solo Flight, Curated by Ed Ruscha, Valencia, California, California Institute of the Arts, 2003.
- Woelffer, Emerson, Emerson Woelffer, Profile of the Artist, 1947-1981, Fullerton, California, California State University, Fullerton, 1982.
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