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Hans Burkhardt

(1904 - 1994)
An extremely prolific artist, Hans Burkhardt remained relatively silent in the Los Angeles art world, choosing to let his artworks express his feelings and thoughts. A forerunner of abstracted, expressionist painting, particularly amid the more conservative Los Angeles figurative painters in the late 1930s, Burkhardt nonetheless based his experimentation on a solid artistic foundation. The order and balance in Burkhardt’s compositions derive from his training as a draughtsman and his belief in the importance of underpinning painting with strong drawing skills. Following the advice of his mentor, Arshile Gorky, who had often directed the young artist, “painting is not more than drawing with paint,” Burkhardt always created sketches in pencil, pastel, or ink before beginning a canvas in oil. As a result, his compositions exhibit a strong sense of structure and design, even in their abstraction.

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