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Davis Art
2014 Catalog
art education curriculum
Artist Biographies
Select a letter below to see the biographies for artists
whose last names start with that letter.
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La Tour, Georges de (France, 1593-1652)
La Tour was influenced by the Italian painter Caravaggio, but he developed a style all his own. Well known in his lifetime, the artist was forgotten until fairly recently. Only forty paintings by La Tour are known to exist, but he is considered one of the most important French painters. His works often depict scenes in which a single candle is the only source of light.

Lange, Dorothea (United States, 1895-1965)
Lange ranks as one of the finest documentary photographers in America. During the great Depression, she was hired by the United States government to photograph the plight of migrant workers in California. Her photographs were intended to inform the public about the sad conditions of migrant families. Her best-known photograph from this assignment is Migrant Mother, Nipomo Valley. The worried, careworn face of the mother, the baby on her lap, and the two children who cling to their mother while turning from the camera provide a powerful statement and social documentary about the workers' desperate situation.

Lawrence, Jacob (United States, 1917-2000)
Lawrence was part of the Social Realist movement in America, a group of artists who focused their work on ordinary people and the many injustices imposed on them by an uncaring society. Lawrence created a sixty-panel series that dealt with the oppression of African Americans. One of the Largest Race Riots Occurred in East St. Louis is one of the best-known panels from that series.

Lazarini, Gustavo (Uruguay, b.1918)
Lazarini, a police detective, as largely a self-taught painter. For a brief period, he studied with a commercial artist from whom he learned to portray basic proportions in the face and techniques for painting portraits.

Le Corbusier, Charles-Edouard Jenneret (1887-1965, Swiss )
Le Corbusier was one of the first architects to deviate from modern architectural principles. The concept of his pilgrimage chapel, Notre-Dame-du-Haut, was completely new. Built on a hilltop near Ronchamp, France, the chapel abandons every aspect of the International Style. Using his favorite construction material, reinforced concrete, he formed an organic sculpture instead of a shoe-box building. Around every interior turn there seems to be a surprise.

Lee-Smith, Hughie (United States, b.1914)
Lee-Smith, an African American, is known for paintings that express a sense of isolated or lonely individuals in environments that have lost their beauty or purpose. Although his work is called surrealistic, he has observed many of the environments that he portrays.

Léger, Fernand (France, 1881-1955)
Léger worked in several styles, but is most well known for his development of a bold geometric style of painting. He often portrayed people and objects by using wide black contours, and strong contrasts between curved and angular forms. He also created designs for tapestries and mosaic murals.

Lenz, Alfred (United States, 1872-1926)
Lenz began his career as a jeweler's apprentice, then studied engraving and other techniques he would need to know to sculpt in metal. Lenz's most notable pieces are small bronze sculptures of figures, often based on photographs of North American Indians.

Lesch, Alma (United States, 20th century)
Lesch has received national awards for her work since the 1950s. She mostly enjoys the process of selecting materials for her work and working out the design. Although she is a superb artisan, she describes the actual fabrication of her work as drudgery. She is well known for her appliqué portraits made from old clothing.

Lewis, Edmonia (United States, 1844-1909)
Lewis was born in Ohio of a Chippewa mother and an African-American father. She was orphaned during her teens and attended Oberlin College on an Abolitionist scholarship. Lewis was the first African-American, male or female, to receive international recognition as a sculptor. In addition to portrait busts, she sculpted studies of ethnic women. The artist once commented, 'I have strong sympathy for all women who have struggled and suffered.'

Leyster, Judith (The Netherlands, 1609-1660)
The Dutch artist Judith Leyster was probably the best-known female painter of the seventeenth century. Although she knew and was influenced by the artist Frans Hals, she created a style all her own. In her well-known self-portrait, one can see that she obviously enjoys her work. After her death, Leyster's works were often thought to be the work of other artists. But today she is again well known.

Li Shih-hsing (China, 1283-1328)
Li Shih-hsing was the son of a government official and often traveled with his father. During these times, Li Shih-hsing met elders who taught him ancient Chinese painting and calligraphy techniques. Nature and old trees are common themes in his work.

Lichtenstein, Roy (United States, 1923-1997)
Roy Lichtenstein became one of the stars of Pop Art. Like other Pop Artists, he wanted to play on the slick, multiple images of commercial art, its mechanical techniques, and its glossy colors. Lichtenstein made giant cartoon-like paintings. Often, he poked gentle fun at the melodrama of the Sunday comics and the national fascination with them. His machine-like style remained the same for years.

Lindner, Richard (United States, 1901-1978)
German-born Lindner began his career as a book illustrator and a magazine graphic artist. The subjects in his paintings were varied, but often related to his life in New York City. His works are representational, but reflect his interest in the selective exaggeration of points of view, color, or other visual elements.

Lomahaftewa, Linda (United States, b.1947)
Lomahaftewa is a Hopi-Choctaw Indian whose abstract acrylic paintings and monoprints are based on themes and symbols from her tribal heritage. Lomahaftewa has taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe for over twelve years.

Lorrain, Claude (France, 1600-1682)
Although born in France, Claude lived and worked in Rome, Italy, for most of his life. He is known for carefully composed landscape paintings. In many of his works, he uses a soft light that creates a dreamy mood. Claude did not enjoy painting people and often paid other artists to add figures to his landscapes. One of his best-known works is The Marriage of Isaac and Rebecca.

Louis, Morris (United States, 1912-1962)
Morris Louis based his images on the physical movement of color across unprimed canvas. First, he poured diluted acrylic paint on the canvas. Then, he tilted the canvas and let the paint run until it produced superimposed veils of color. Sometimes the shapes were linear, running from top to bottom. Others spread in different directions. The overlapping, transparent shapes create a feeling of depth on the huge flat surfaces. Although the work is spontaneous and unplanned, the working process is delicate and careful.

Lubalin, Herb (United States, 1918-1981)
Lubalin became well known for his highly inventive uses of typefaces (lettering) and original designs for new typefaces. He combined typefaces with picture symbols and photography so that the meaning of words were also expressed visually.


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