William Brice, ‘Untitled’, 1963, L.A. Louver

About William Brice

Following his engagement with Parisian modernism in the 1950s and 1960s, Brice became best known for his large paintings combining elements of abstraction with images evocative of Mediterranean ruins. Beginning as a figurative painter in the tradition of Picasso and Matisse, Brice was influential to a generation of Southern California artists who emerged in the 1960s, including Judy Chicago, Charles Garabedian, and Ed Moses, who all studied under him at UCLA, where he taught for decades. A 1970 trip to Greece sparked a change in Brice’s work, in which he turned away from outright figuration toward architectonic forms inspired by early classicism. “It was a landscape of fragments, all in shambles, or in the process of reconstruction, shards, and memory, and remnants,” Brice said. Loosely rendered, Brice’s work is an important link between European history and American postwar art.

American, 1928-2008