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Helen Lundeberg

American, 1908-1999


Helen Lundeberg

Interior, c. 1955

Oil on board
4 1/2 x 7 3/8 in
11.4 x 18.7 cm


Helen Lundeberg was born in Chicago in 1908 and moved to Pasadena, California, with her family  in 1912. She was a gifted child and as a young adult was inclined to become a writer. After taking  an art class taught by Lorser Feitelson at the Stickney Memorial School of Art in Pasadena, Lundeberg was inspired to pursue a career as an artist. With Lorser Feitelson in 1934, Lundeberg  founded Subjective Classicism, better known as Post Surrealism. Unlike European Surrealism,  Post Surrealism did not rely on random dream imagery. Instead, carefully planned subjects were  used to guide the viewer through the painting, gradually revealing a deeper meaning. This  method of working appealed to Lundeberg's highly intellectual sensibilities. Themes of Post  Surrealism continued in Lundeberg's paintings until the 1950s, when she began to explore  geometric abstraction. Her works are described as formal and lyrical paintings that rely on  precise compositions that utilize various restricted palettes. Lundeberg’s style creates images  that possess a certain moodiness or emotional content unique to her work. In the 1960s and  1970s, Lundeberg continued her journey through abstraction, exploring imagery associated with  landscapes, interiors, still-lifes, planetary forms and intuitive compositions she called enigmas. Her works are included in the permanent collections of MoMA, Smithsonian, San Francisco  Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Norton Simon Museum.