Frederick Hammersley

Frederick Hammersley (b. 1919, USA d. 2009, USA) lived and worked in California and Utah. Hammersely studied at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and at Jepson Art Institute. While serving as an Army sergeant in World War II from 1942-45 he was stationed in Paris and took the opportunity to study at the École des Beaux Arts after he was discharged in 1945. After the war, Hammersley taught at many institutions, including: Jepson Art School, Los Angeles, California; Pomona College, Claremont, California; Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, California; Chouinard Art School, Los Angeles, California; and University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hammersley first gained critical recognition in 1959 as one of the "Four Abstract Classicists" along with Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, and John McLaughlin, whose work was featured in an exhibition of the same name, organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and traveling to the San Franciso Museum of Modern Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, and Queen's University in Belfast, Ireland. The critic Jules Langsner, writing for the catalogue, is credited with coining the term "hard-edge" painting as a description of the artists' use of flat, colored shapes applied to the canvas with sharply delineated edges. In the mid-1990s a renewed interest in Hammersley's work, as well as in the cultural milieu in which "hard edge" painting was formed, resulted in a number of significant exhibitions and a commercial success he had enjoyed only intermittently during his career. Although his health had been failing for several years before he died in 2009, he continued to paint whenever possible until the day before his death. He left a legacy of artwork, students, colleagues, and friends, and a vibrant attitude toward life that carries on in his paintings, drawings, and writings. More information on Hammersley, his work, and his legacy can be found at

Last updated: 23.09.2014


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