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Tom Laursen (American, b.20th Century)


Born and raised in Pasadena CA, Tom won a scholarship to attend the Chouinard Art Institute in 1938. He became Rico LeBrun's teaching assistant at Chouinard and also attended the Jepson Institute. During his time at Chouinard and Jepson he became life-long friends with Frederick Hammersley, Mary Vartikian, Roger Hollenbeck, Rico Lebrun, Robert Perine, Bill Brice, and many other now notable mid-century LA artists. Over the course of his creative life (1950s—1970s) he painted, printed serigraphs, built collage, and cast acrylic sculptures.

In serigraphy, Laursen constantly experimented toward obtaining a richer pictorial impression through color, transparencies and linear structure. The compositions are often quiet, with stretches of open color balanced by linear decorative detail. While the landscapes he conveys aren’t identifiable, they are familiar, and accessible, and fit comfortably in with the work of other post WWII California artists. He is said to have been primarily concerned with multi-layered images that make use of clarity, ambiguity, paradox and the resulting interplay created by the ideas that arise.

In sculpture, Laursen made use of experimental technique and the relatively new medium of acrylic casting. By injecting clear acrylic with modulated metallic colors, Laursen created encapsulated environments, and conjured scenes perfect for the best science fiction.

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