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Rico Lebrun attended the Naples Academy of Fine Arts, where he was immersed in classical art history and anatomically realistic figuration. He moved to New York in 1924 to work in a stained glass factory. He was commissioned by the FAP/WPA but, by 1939, was forced to abandon a partially completed mural in Penn Station; the building was torn down! This discouraging event made easy the decision to move to California, retreating to colleague Channing Peake’s Santa Barbara ranch. Influenced by the ranch lands and the warm light and color of Southern California, he began his farm implements series...and his Crucifixion cycle.
In symbolic paintings of the 1940s,
cripples, harlequins and clowns became vehicles for communicating the
condition of man as a result of war and poverty. In 1947, after a
to Los Angeles, he joined the faculty at the Jepson Art Institute and
to a completion of his Crucifixion theme.
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Krasnow and Rico Lebrun: Two Icons of California Modernism
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