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Doug Ohlson - Artists - Louis Stern Fine Arts

The Blue of Arab Doors, 1980   
oil on canvas
66 x 66 inches;  167.6 x 167.6 centimeters
LSFA# 13413

Doug OHLSON (1936-2010)

Born in Cherokee, Iowa on November 18th, 1936, Doug Ohlson served in the U.S. Marine Corps before graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1960 with a degree in painting. Moving to New York City in December the same year, he soon became an active member of the New York School of painters and poets. In 1964 Ohlson joined the faculty at Hunter College, which included Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Tony Smith, Robert Morris, and Ray Parker.

During the 60s, Ohlson made hard-edged geometric paintings that played with nuanced relationships between colors. Throughout his career he varied the scale and method of his painting but always retained his intensity of color and form. As art critic Carter Ratcliff wrote: “Almost offhandedly, Ohlson dares us to make sense of these chromatic clashes and spatial discords. When we take up the dare, things come alive: our memories, our imaginations and ultimately the paintings.”

Ohlson had his first New York solo exhibition in 1964, and thereafter was regularly included in major exhibitions worldwide. He exhibited consistently in New York galleries over the course of his 46-year-long professional career. Ohlson’s work was shown alongside other color field and minimalist artists in the major 1968 exhibition Art of the Real at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, which traveled to the Kunsthaus Zürich, the Tate in London, and the Grand Palais in Paris. A 20-year survey of his work was exhibited in 2002 at the Times Square Gallery at Hunter College.

Ohlson’s work is included in numerous permanent collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Brooklyn Museum; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany; the Dallas Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the Minneapolis Institute of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, amongst others. He was the recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in 1968, the Creative Artists Public Service Grant in 1974, and the National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 1976.

Doug Ohlson died in New York City in 2010 at the age of 73. The Washburn Gallery has represented Ohlson’s estate in NYC since 2011; Louis Stern Fine Arts in Los Angeles has represented the estate on the West Coast since 2012.

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