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Bror Utter (American, 1913-1993)


Also known as:  Bror Alexander Utter

Birth Place: Fort Worth, TX USA


Who is painter Bror Utter?

Bror Utter was an American painter and printmaker best known for his self-described organic biomorphic abstractionist paintings as well as work as a member of the famed Fort Worth Art Association. Early in his career Utter favored more typical fare -- landscape paintings and populist theatrical paintings. His abstraction didn’t come until another decade later when he would begin in earnest his distinctive style of Organ Surrealism. His work was popular as it inserted meaning and symbolism in thick layers over his paintings, giving his work an eerie strangeness and mysticism that still resonates with viewers to this day.

Bror Utter was a famed member of the Fort Worth Circle. This group was the center of many accolades and praise from the art community of the 1940s. During this time Utter would exhibit his work at Weyhe Galleries and the Brooklyn Museum. His work is now displayed prominently in the Dallas Museum of Art, the prestigious Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Old Jail Art Center in Albany, Texas.

What kind of art did Bror Utter make?

Bror Utter was one of the founding members of the Fort Worth Circle. They rejected the aesthetics of Impressionism, which was the main influence for many Texas artists, and instead used European Modernism as a basis for their aesthetics. Utter’s work was especially different, his subjects were often dancers, harlequins, and theater professionals and he used his mastery of depicting movement and motion to stretch the boundaries of what theatre painting could entail. Eventually, he evolved into something he called, “organic biomorphic abstractionist paintings” which kept the movement of his earlier work but pushed the limits of abstraction, layering in symbolism and other mystical elements to his paintings.

How did painter Bror Utter get started?

Bror Utter was born in Fort Worth in 1913. While still in grade school, Utter already demonstrated keen aesthetic choices and a penchant for international art. While studying with famed artists Ella Ray Ledgerwood and Sarah Gillespie, Utter was asked who his favorite artists were. He replied that he was inspired by the work of WIlliam Blake, Beardsley, and Japanese printmaking. These mystical roots would show in much of Utter’s later work. He spent much of the 1930s being tutored by some of Fort Worth’s best artists before eventually leaving to study under Boardman Robinson and Otis Dozier at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. It was there that Utter would develop his landscape and theatrical painting proclivities. This work, combined with his love of mysticism would be the blueprint for the rest of Utter’s career and his work within the Fort Worth Circle.

How much are Bror Utter paintings worth?

Bror Utter paintings have a wide range in their worth. For minor works, some Utter paintings have sold at auction for as little as $250, but on the high end can go for more than $35,000. The most ever paid for a Bror Utter painting is $35,850 for the piece The Visitors (1943) which sold on November 11th, 2010 from Heritage Auctions. Heritage Auctions has a great relationship with Utter’s work and has sold many of his pieces in the last few decades. His work is a perfect balance of mysticism, symbolism, and beautifully rendered movement -- making his work timeless and beautiful for any collector lucky enough to snag one.

Where to buy Bror Utter paintings for sale?

See the works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Bror Utter paintings?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.

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