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Harry Carmean (born August 5, 1922, in Anthony, Kansas) is an American painter known for his figurative paintings based on the work of the old masters. The ideas of the Renaissance, Baroque, Mannerist and Impressionist art can all be seen in his work to varying degrees. He is known for practicing a form of drawing known as “draughstmanship” in which specific art ideas are consistently applied throughout a drawing. He was an instructor at Art Center College of Design from 1952 through 1996 and has taught thousands of students. He headed the Life Studies Department for the last 25 years of his tenure there.
Harry Carmean was first a singer before becoming an artist. After serving in World War II, he quit singing and began studying art at École des Beaux-Arts in France and later at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. It was there that he met the painter Lorser Feitelson who strongly influenced Carmean’s work. Carmean became involved with a circle of artists that including Feitelson, Helen Lundeburg, colorist Stanton MacDonald-Wright and Frederick Hammersley.
In the 1960s he began a series of paintings featuring a family theme. These were done in a simple manner with muted colors and showed the influence of the Renaissance and Baroque art. It was at this time that Carmean came into his own as a painter and his compositions became more involved. In the '60s, Carmean was featured regularly on Feitelson's award winning television show Feitelson on Art on KNBC in Los Angeles.
In the 1970s he continued to further explore the compositional ideas of past masters culminating in a series of Spanish café paintings characterized by a strong use of light and dark and an emphasis on defining forms. In the early '70s, he began a series of etchings depicting interior scenes and nudes which continued through the 1990s. From the 1970s through the 1990s, Carmean also completed a series of small wax sculptures inspired by the work of Rodin and Degas.
In the late 1980s, his style shifted and he began a new series of paintings depicting acrobats and dancers. In contrast to his early paintings, Carmean now focused on the use of white and his paintings had a lighter, more impressionistic feel. The acrobat theme originated from his early days as a singer and from his experiences in the entertainment world. In these works the compositions became increasingly complex with Mannerist elements, setting precedents in terms of classical composition. In the late 1980s, he also began a series of erotic drawings, etchings and paintings. In 1997 upon retiring from Art Center he moved from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, California, where he continues to draw and paint.
1922 Born in Anthony, Kansas
1923 Moved to California
1936 Began producing Portraits
1940 Courses in Art and Music at ???
1941 Received award in Poster Contest at ???
1942 Entered World War II in U.S. Army
1944 Trobridge, England Red Cross - Solo Exhibition
1945 L'Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, France
1946 Returned to Los Angeles for career as singer
1946 Completed first studio
1947 Enters Art Center under Lorser Fietelson, Los Angeles
1948 Exhibits at Los Angeles Art Association
1948 Orange Show in San Bernardino, CA
1949 Flower Show, Orange County, CA
1949 Founded Ardmore Group
1950 California Color Society "Eight California Painters"; Los Angeles Art Association Membership & Exhibition
1951 Palos Verdes Community Art Association; Los Angeles Art Association's "Artists You Should Know"
1952 Joins staff at Los Angeles Art Center
1953 Chaffey community Art Association, Ontario, CA
1954 Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Employed Walt Disney Studios; Santa Monica Art Gallery "Southern California Artists"
1954 Joins Feitelson, Lundeburg and De Erderly on LA Art Association panel
1955 Madonna Festiva, Wilshire Ebel, LA, CA; Festival of The Arts, Laguna, CA
1956 Festival of the Arts, Laguna, CA; Functionalist West, LA Art Association,
1957 Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Chaffey Community Art Association; Chapman College; Chaffey College; Downey Museum of Art; LA Art Association; Mc Ney Galleries, ??, TX
1959 Orange County Art Association
1960 Palos Verdes Art Association; Long Beach Museum of Art, "Arts of Southern California - Drawing,"; Two traveling exhibitions for Western Association of Art Museum - Seattle, WA.
1961 Eastern Circuit, Traveling Exhibit, Chapman College, Orange, CA; Dallas Public Library, Dallas, TX; Everhart Museum, Scranton, PA; Wuston Museum of FineRacine, WI Art; Columbia Museum of Fine, Columbia, SC Art; Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA
1961 Micheal Thomas Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA
1962 Marymount College, Los Angeles, CA
1962 Orange County At Association
1964 Fullerton Art Association, Los Angeles, CA
1970 Los Angeles Art Association, Los Angeles, CA
1974 Seventh Street Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1975 Seventh Street Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1976 Seventh Street Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1976 Moody Gallery, Pasadena, CA
1977 Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
1977 Seventh Street, Los Angeles, CA
1978 Moody Gallery, Pasadena, CA
1984 Dan Turk Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1987 N.W. Ayer, Los Angeles, CA
1988 Nebera Gallery, Denver, CO
1989 Nebera Gallery, Denver, CO
1989 Irvine Valley College, Irvine, CA
1990 Irvine Valley College, Irvine, CA
1999 Chrysanthou, Los Angeles, CA
2001 Karpeles Museum, Santa Barbara, CA
2002 "The Art of Love" Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2004 "The Moment Before the Moment" Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2005 "In the Flesh" Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2006 "Masters, Mentors and Metamorphosis" Fullerton College Art Museum, Fullerton, CA