John Ferren, ‘Grey Scale Composition’, 1937, Hirschl & Adler Modern

About John Ferren

John Ferren was an abstract painter commonly associated with both the American Abstract Artists group with the Abstraction-Création association of artists. Ferren began his career as a sculptor, but after seeing the works of Matisse, he shifted his focus to painting. Ferren never formally studied art, but said that during his visits to Europe he “literally learned art around the café tables in Paris, knowing other artists and talking.” Ferren was active in the European avant-garde circles, and produced paintings influenced by the abstract geometry of artists such as Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky, and Robert Delaunay. Gertrude Stein said of Ferren: “He is the only American painter foreign painters in Paris consider as a painter and whose paintings interest them.” After World War II, Ferren’s style shifted toward abstract expressionism.

American, 1905-1970