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On H. C. Westermann

In conjunction with our current exhibition of works on paper by H. C. Westermann: Le Bandeur, we spoke to a range of people who knew Westermann in life or through his work, about who he was as a person, an artist and why his work continues to resonate, thirty years after his death at the age of 59. The result of these conversations is a series of video shorts, which will explore this complex individual through the context of his art and his letters, personal and professional relationships, his political and environmental concerns, and the life-long impact of his military service.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Westermann enlisted in the Marines at 19 and went on to serve in both WWII and Korea, before completing his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1954. While primarily a sculptor, he was a skilled draftsman and prolific correspondent, leaving a record of illustrated letters to friends, family and acquaintances that provides insight into his working methods, artistic aspirations and opinions alike. Despite gaining acclaim early in his career for his meticulously crafted sculptures, he never outwardly sought fame or recognition, preferring to keep his focus solely on his work, spending the last sixteen years of his life in rural Connecticut, where he constructed a house and studio to rival his most ambitious sculptures.


Jill Weinberg Adams, the longtime dealer of Westermann’s estate and a former employee of Xavier Fourcade.
Jack Lemon, master printer and founder of Landfall Press who collaborated with Westermann on multiple editions.
Robert Frumkin, the son of Westermann’s first dealer, Allan Frumkin.
Patterson Sims, who was curator of the collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art from 1976-19**.
Joanna Beall, the niece of Westermann, who regularly visited the Beall family’s Connecticut estate as a child.
Pat Montgomery, who worked at the Allan Frumkin Gallery in New York from 1975-1980.
David McCarthy, art historian currently at Rhodes College who has written extensively on Westermann, in particular his military experience.
Michael Rooks, curator at the High Museum and editor of the Westermann catalogue raisonnée.
 

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H.C. Westermann, When the Pale Horse & His Rider Go By..., 1973. Ink and wash on paper, 14 x 11 inches.

© The Estate of H. C. Westermann/Licensed by VAGA at Artist's Rights Society, New York.

In conjunction with our current exhibition of works on paper by H. C. Westermann: Le Bandeur, we spoke to a range of people who knew Westermann in life or through his work, about who he was as a person, an artist and why his work continues to resonate, thirty years after his death at the age of 59. The result of these conversations is a series of video shorts, which will explore this complex individual through the context of his art and his letters, personal and professional relationships, his political and environmental concerns, and the life-long impact of his military service.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Westermann enlisted in the Marines at 19 and went on to serve in both WWII and Korea, before completing his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1954. While primarily a sculptor, he was a skilled draftsman and prolific correspondent, leaving a record of illustrated letters to friends, family and acquaintances that provides insight into his working methods, artistic aspirations and opinions alike. Despite gaining acclaim early in his career for his meticulously crafted sculptures, he never outwardly sought fame or recognition, preferring to keep his focus solely on his work, spending the last sixteen years of his life in rural Connecticut, where he constructed a house and studio to rival his most ambitious sculptures.

Text/Image Swiper

Part I: Male, American

Part II: The Dream World

With thanks to the following individuals who contributed to this project:

Jill Weinberg Adams, the longtime dealer of Westermann’s estate and a former employee of Xavier Fourcade.
Jack Lemon, master printer and founder of Landfall Press who collaborated with Westermann on multiple editions.
Robert Frumkin, the son of Westermann’s first dealer, Allan Frumkin.
Patterson Sims, who was curator of the collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art from 1976-19**.
Joanna Beall, the niece of Westermann, who regularly visited the Beall family’s Connecticut estate as a child.
Pat Montgomery, who worked at the Allan Frumkin Gallery in New York from 1975-1980.
David McCarthy, art historian currently at Rhodes College who has written extensively on Westermann, in particular his military experience.
Michael Rooks, curator at the High Museum and editor of the Westermann catalogue raisonnée.