American Modernist


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Installation, Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA, March 2016

American Modernist

A New Traveling Exhibition

The new exhibition “VOLCANOS, WRECKS, RIOTS, & NUDES”, EDWARD HAGEDORN (1902-1982) American Modernist is now being made available for presentation at museums worldwide following its premiere at the Danforth Museum. Framingham, MA, in March 2016. The exhibition includes 75 works of art in various mediums and is accompanied by the first monograph devoted to the artist’s work with essays by leading curators, critics, and art historians.

Edward Hagedorn was a true Modernist who created a trove of powerful works on paper--drawings, watercolors, oils, and original graphics that reveal the hand of a master draftsman and the mind of an astute political observer. He rejected the general trend in early 20th century California of local landscapes and coastal views, becoming virtually the single voice of Expressionism. He conveyed the darkness and upheaval that gripped the country in the depression years between the two World Wars, 1925- 1935, more forcefully than any of his contemporaries, influenced by German art of the time, engaging in modernist styles of Expressionism and Surrealism.

Hagedorn’s skeletons are ferocious yet somehow endearing; printed in deep black ink on off-white paper, they march across Lilliputian landscapes of grim disorder and destruction. Comets and volcanoes explode in fauvist colors, their other-worldly fluorescent temperas framed in black, while nude female figures, executed in exquisitely refined pen and ink, or graphite line drawings, are as economical in their means as Matisse, and can be compared with the neo-classical drawings of Picasso. Among his most lyrical works of the 1920s is a series of rhythmically abstracted watercolor and ink views of Golden Gate Park, evoking the sensual demi-geometries of Balthus, Derain , and early Mondrian.

This first retrospective of the art of Edward Hagedorn (American 1902-1982), reveals an artist powerfully in command of marks on paper, wryly observant of human folly, a gifted draftsman creating indelible images and unforgettable impressions of the most powerful forces of nature.

-Robert Flynn Johnson, Curator Emeritus, Achenbach Foundation For Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco


Selected Quotes

“….Hagedorn’s diversity…. can be described on a second level, that of the imaginative wealth of his imagery in the service of a profound, often neurotic, and politically astute content. Based in the violent and repressive politics of the 1930’s and 1940’s, the best of these images engage with European Expressionism without blindly following the style’s tenets, nor succumbing to the ironic detachment of the Neo- Expressionists of the 1980’s. Instead, Hagedorn’s images remain engaged, powerful, even forbidding.… ...Their monumentalizing quality is direct and arresting, and continues to feel surprisingly contemporary.

Dr. James Steward, Director of the Princeton University Museum, former Director of the University Museum, Berkeley--©The Regents of the University of California, courtesy Berkeley Art Museum,1996

“…..a sensibility of great formal inventiveness and fierce, almost unhinged, moral concern. In an era when artists had to assert themselves increasingly to get noticed, particularly on the West Coast, Hagedorn kept to himself. ….nudes in tempera on paper… are rendered with a bold, big-fisted simplicity that suggests a middle path between Alexei Jawlensky and Fernand Léger. “

Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, July 10, 1996

"Hagedorn’s mystical landscape visions, closer to the expressionism of Germans such as Oskar Kokoschka and Emil Nolde than to the formalist constructs of Hans Hofmann, had a place in both worlds, the realms of the abstract painter and of the social critic. With a highly personal, idiosyncratic language, he managed to convey the darkness and upheaval that gripped San Francisco in the depression years more forcefully than any of his contemporaries."

Dr. Patricia Junker, Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art, Seattle Art Museum; former Curator, Amon Carter Museum of Art; former Associate Curator, American Painting, De young Memorial Art Museum, San Francisco, 2009

"That Hagedorn is able to communicate terror and the terrible in the absence of impassioned or hysterical brushwork makes his take on Expressionism unique indeed – that which is most compelling in Hagedorn’s work – the restlessness and the restraint.”

Susan Kandel, Los Angeles Times, March 5, 1992

"The power of Hagedorn’s anti-war series derives from dramatic visual presence often rendered in stark black and white, his skeletons throwing grenades, sounding a trumpet, and sowing dragon’s-seed bayonets which sprout as soldiers. These all-too-human figures have a life of their own, including the revelation of their mortality as stripped flesh; they draw us back to the immediate and fresh experience of the graphic image, and that is where Hagedorn concentrated his powers as an artist."

DIckran Tashjian, Professor Emeritus of Art History, School of Humanities, University of California--Irvine, 2009

“Edward Hagedorn’s images proclaim their importance through their intrinsic graphic power and their bold simplicity. When I first encountered the work several years ago, I found it difficult to believe that such an achievement had, apparently, gone unremarked in studies of California modernist art—the subject of a book I was preparing. So there was, and still is, the excitement of discovery attached to the work of Edward Hagedorn."

Dr. Paul Karlstrom, former West Coast Director, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 2009

Exhibition Information

Contents: 75 works in various mediums, text panel and label copy

Space req: 300 running feet approx.

Publications: a monograph and gallery guide

Loan Fee: Upon request

Shipping & Insurance: Exhibitor responsible

                  310-397-3098     info@a-r-t.com




March 15 - May 15
Danforth Museum Framingham, MA

October 8 - December 10
Fullerton Art Museum, CSU San Bernardino, CA

2017 - 2020



- Introduction -Exhibition List -
- Exhibition Installation Images - Artist Bio -
- Exhibition Info - Exhibition Schedule - Contact Info -

Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA
March 2016

- Introduction -Exhibition List -
- Exhibition Installation Images - Artist Bio -
- Exhibition Info - Exhibition Schedule - Contact Info -

C c. 2020 Landau Traveling Exhibitions
                  310-397-3098     info@a-r-t.com