Leon Berkowitz

American, 1911–1987

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Leon Berkowitz

Bio

American, 1911–1987

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Biography

Painter Leon Berkowitz was a founding member of the Washington Color School (an outpost of Color Field Painting), although he never fully embraced the association, emphasizing the influence of poetry, music, and physics in his work over formalistic concerns. Nonetheless, he is known for filling his canvases with fields of vibrant modulated color. Unlike the introspective mid-century Abstract Expressionists such as Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman to whom he is often compared, Berkowitz’s works originated in external sources of inspiration, in particular the luminous landscapes he encountered on his travels through Greece, Israel, and Wales. He further distinguished himself by continuing to paint in oil after many of his peers adopted acrylic, valuing the “visually seductive resonance and depth” he felt he could achieve with the older medium.

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Biography

Painter Leon Berkowitz was a founding member of the Washington Color School (an outpost of Color Field Painting), although he never fully embraced the association, emphasizing the influence of poetry, music, and physics in his work over formalistic concerns. Nonetheless, he is known for filling his canvases with fields of vibrant modulated color. Unlike the introspective mid-century Abstract Expressionists such as Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman to whom he is often compared, Berkowitz’s works originated in external sources of inspiration, in particular the luminous landscapes he encountered on his travels through Greece, Israel, and Wales. He further distinguished himself by continuing to paint in oil after many of his peers adopted acrylic, valuing the “visually seductive resonance and depth” he felt he could achieve with the older medium.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
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