Harold Ambellan

American, 1912-2006

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Harold Ambellan

American, 1912-2006

Biography

Guided by his commitment to universally accessible art, Harold Ambellan created figurative sculptures and paintings—primarily of nude female forms, such as Nude Sculpture (1937)—even as his contemporaries, including Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, became increasingly dedicated to exploring abstraction. Ambellan’s burgeoning artistic career coincided with the Great Depression, and he realized his first major works as a participant in the Federal Art Project, a New Deal initiative that employed artists, including Pollock, Philip Guston, and Jacob Lawrence. While in New York in the 1930s, Ambellan’s left-leaning, humanist convictions made him equally at home in the folk music scene as he was in the art community, and ultimately led to his self-imposed exile to France in the mid-1950s after he became a target of McCarthyism.

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Biography

Guided by his commitment to universally accessible art, Harold Ambellan created figurative sculptures and paintings—primarily of nude female forms, such as Nude Sculpture (1937)—even as his contemporaries, including Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, became increasingly dedicated to exploring abstraction. Ambellan’s burgeoning artistic career coincided with the Great Depression, and he realized his first major works as a participant in the Federal Art Project, a New Deal initiative that employed artists, including Pollock, Philip Guston, and Jacob Lawrence. While in New York in the 1930s, Ambellan’s left-leaning, humanist convictions made him equally at home in the folk music scene as he was in the art community, and ultimately led to his self-imposed exile to France in the mid-1950s after he became a target of McCarthyism.

Works For Sale
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial