June 7, 2009

Painter Hammersley dies at age 90

Frederick Hammersley, known as an abstract classicist in the art community, has died at the age of 90 in Albuquerque, N.M., his sister says.

The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that Hammersley spent five decades combining hard-edge abstraction with his intuitive touch to create memorable paintings in the wake of being at the forefront of the abstract art movement.

In 1959, Hammersley were included in a traveling exhibition, Four Abstract Classicists, along with artists Lorser Feitelson, John McLaughlin and Karl Benjamin.

The popular exhibit was coordinated by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and went on to tour museums worldwide, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Institute of Contemporary Art in London.

Hammersley takes several steps toward making his work more accessible, less aloof, art critic Leah Ollman said in a 2000 Times article about the artist, who died May 31 of unspecified causes.

The Times said Hammersley, whose only reported survivor is his sister, Susie H. Stone, also was an art professor in Southern California and at the University of New Mexico.