Hans Burkhardt was born in Basel, Switzerland in 1904, emigrating to New York in 1924. Upon his arrival to New York, he became associated with the pioneers of what was to later emerge as the New York School, Arshile Gorky and Willem De Kooning. He shared Gorky's studio between 1928 and 1937.
In 1937, arriving in Los Angeles, Burkhardt represented the most direct link to the New York School. In Los Angeles, he independently pursued his Abstract Expressionist style, often anticipating the work of his contemporaries and later artists on the East Coast and in Europe. His first solo exhibition in 1939 at the Stendahl Gallery was at the suggestion of Lorser Feitelson, who was responsible for Burkhardt's inclusion in numerous national exhibitions. As Director of the L.A. Art Association, Feitelson chose Burkhardt to be the first artist afforded a solo show by the Association. Burkhardt's paintings spanned the range of human emotion, and while perhaps having painted the most provocative body of work on the subject of war, spanning the Spanish Civil War through his final works of the 1990s, his ouevre was balanced by works of celebration. While Los Angeles art in the 1960s was seduced by California Light, Hard Edge, Minimalism and Pop Art, Burkhardt, in typical independent manner, created what many now regard as some of the most powerful examples of Abstract Expressionism and is also well-known for his richly drawn pastel abstractions of the figure.
Hans Burkhardt's works have in recent years increasingly been exhibited in museum exhibitions nationally and internationally. He continues to attract significant critical attention from some of the leading art historians such as Peter Selz and Donald Kuspit. Burkhardt's works are included in the collections of such major museums as the British Museum, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum, Hirshhorn Museum, Palace of the Legion Honor, Santa Barbara Museum and Los Angeles County Museum. In 1922, Burkhardt was honored in New York by the American Academy of Art for his lifetime achievement.
He died in Los Angeles in 1994. The works of Hans Burkhardt have been represented by Jack Rutberg Fine Arts since 1973.
Selected Solo Exhibitions:
1945 Los Angeles County Museum, California
1947 University of Oregon, Eugene
1951 Museo de Bellas Artes, Guadalajara, Mexico: Exhibicion de pinturas modernas
Comara Gallery, Los Angeles, California: El muerte, June 15 – July 5
Los Angeles Art Association
1953 University of Southern California, Los Angeles
1955 Occidental College, Los Angeles, California
1956 Instituto Allende, San Miguel Allende, Mexico: Recent Paintings, March 1 – March 18
Mount Saint Mary's College, Los Angeles, California: Soul of Mexico, Nov.25 – Dec. 15
1957 Pasadena Art Museum, California: Ten Year Retrospective, June 14 – July 14
1958 Instituto Allende, San Miguel Allende, Mexico
1959 Long Beach State College, California
1960 University of Southern California, Los Angeles, August 16 – September 30
1961-62 Thirty Year Retrospective circulated to:
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, April 11 – May 7, 1961
Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, June 10 – July 9, 1962
Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, January 9 – February 4, 1962
1962 Fresno Art Center, California
Santa Monica Municipal Art Gallery, California
1964 Palm Springs Desert Museum, California
1965 San Fernando Valley State College, California, November 9 - November 29,
Freie Schule, Basel, Switzerland, 2 April – 17 April, 1965
1966 San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, California: Forty Year Retrospective
Laguna Beach Art Association, California
1967 The Fullerton Main Library, Pomona, California: Annual “Night in Fullerton”
1970 San Fernando Valley State College, California, Selection from the Hans Burkhardt Collection, November 4 – December 1, 1970
1972 Long Beach Museum of Art, California: Retrospective 1950-1972, July 16 – September 24, 1972
1974 Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art
1975 California State University, Northridge: Permanent Installation at Oviatt Library, December 5, 1975
1977 Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California, Linocuts and Pastels, March 5 - April 20
1978 Laguna Beach Museum of Art, California: Mark Tobey/Hans Burkhardt, September 12 – October 23
Los Angeles Mission College, California: Hans Burkhardt, November 21 – Dec. 15
1994 Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California: Hans Burkhardt In Memoriam
Laguna Art Museum, California: Tribute to Hans Burkhardt
2012 College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, The Expansive Vision of Hans Burkhardt, Drawings of an American Master, January 24 – March 1, 2012
2013 Royale Project: Contemporary art, Palm Desert, California, Hans Burkhardt nineteen sixty seven, February 15 – March 23, 2013
Selected Group Exhibitions:
1945 Los Angeles County Museum, Annual, purchase award: Artists of LA. and Vicinity.
1946 Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, First Annual Spring Exhibition, April 3 - May 5, 1946.
1947 Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.: Twentieth Biennial Exhibition.
1947-48 Art Institute of Chicago: Abstract and Surrealist American Art, November 6, 1947 – January 11, 1948
Modern Institute of Art, Beverly Hills: Modern Artists in Transition.
California Palace Legion of Honor, San Francisco: 2nd Annual Exhibition of Painting, November 19, 1947 – January 4, 1948
Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Artists of L.A. and Vicinity, May 15 – June 30, 1948
1949 Denver Art Museum, Colorado: Annual Exhibition of Western Art.
1950 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: American Painting Today.
California State Fair
1951 Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.: 22nd Biennial.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York: Contemporary American Painters
1952 Chicago Art Institute
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York: Annual
Los Angeles County Museum
1953 Denver Art Museum, Colorado
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia
California State Fair, Sacramento
1954 Los Angeles County Museum, Annual Exhibition of Artists of Los Angeles and Vicinity, May 14 – June 27
Los Angeles County Museum, Fall Rental Gallery, Prints and Drawings, October 24 – November 14
California State Fair, Sacramento, purchase award
1958 Long Beach Museum, California: Art of Southern California II - Paintings,
Seattle Art Museum, Washington
Portland Art Museum, Oregon
University of Nebraska Art Galleries
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Madison Square Garden, New York: Art: USA.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California: Second Pacific Coast Biennial, purchase award, September 10 – October 13
1961 Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California: Two Hundred Years of American Painting.
1964 Kunsthalle, Basel, Switzerland
Long Beach Museum of Art, California: Art of Southern California: Early Moderns
1967 Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas
1974 Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California:
Nine Senior Southern California Painters - Peter Krasnow, Nicholas Brigante, Lorser Feitelson, John McLaughlin, Florence Arnold, Helen Lunderberg, Emerson Woelffer, Han Burkhardt.
1996 The British Museum: Recent Acquisitions.
2002 Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Kindness of Friends A Selection of Gifts of Drawings and Prints: 1912-2001, December 13, 2001- April 7, 2002
2003 Portland Art Museum, By Hand: American Drawings from the Permanent Collection.
2004 Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University, From Picasso to Thiebaud: Modern & Contemporary Art, February 18 – June 20, 2004.
2008 The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina,
Modern American Paintings, From the Bequest of Fannie and Alan Leslie,
Ongoing Exhibition through 2008.
2009-10 The Philadelphia Museum of Art., Arshile Gorky: In Context, October 21, 2009 - January 10, 2010.
2012 Pasadena Museum of California Art, L.A. Raw: Abject Expressionism in Los Angeles, 1945-1980, From Rico Lebrun to Paul McCarthy, January 22 – May 20,2012
1945 Los Angeles County Museum, Annual Exhibition, Purchase Award, Oil
1951 Terry Art Institute, Miami, Cash Award
1954 Los Angeles County Museum, Second Prize, Modern Oil
California State Fair & Exposition, First Prize, Modern Oil
1955 Chaffey Community Art Association, Cash Award
1957 Los Angeles County Museum, Junior Art Council Prize
Los Angles All-City Art Festival, Purchase Prize, Oil
California State Fair & Expo, Cash Award, Pastel
1958 Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Second Annual Pacific Coast Biennial,
Ala Story Purchase Award
1960 Los Angeles All-City Art Festival, First Purchase Award, Watercolor
California Watercolor Society, Merchandise Award
1961 California All-City Art Festival, First Purchase Award, Oil
1962 California State Fair & Exposition, Second Prize, Modern Oil
1963 California Watercolor Society, Purchase Award
1969 Academia Tomasso Campanella, Rome
International Academy of Arts, Silver Medal
1991 Citation from Mayor Tom Bradley, City of Los Angeles proclaiming Hans Burkhardt Week, October 11-17
1992 American Academy & Institute of Arts & Letters, Jimmy Ernst Award in
Art for Lifetime Achievement
LA Artcore, 4th Annual Award in Art
Selected Public Collections:
Achenbach Foundation, Palace Legion of Honor, San Francisco, California
Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock
Art Collection of the State of California
British Museum, London, England
Hans Burkhardt Center for the Arts and Humanities, California State University,
Charles E. Craig Jr. Multicultural Art Collection, Louisiana State University Museum of Art, Baton Rouge
Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Downey Art Museum, Downey, California
Emerson Gallery, Hamilton College, Clinton, New York
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Los Angeles
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Hirshhorn Collection, Washington, D.C.
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
Huntington Library, San Marino, CA
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska
Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland
Laguna Art Museum, California
La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, California
Lancaster Museum of Art and History, California
Long Beach Museum of Art, California
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California
Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California
Nora Eccles Harrison Museum, Utah State University, Logan
North Carolina Museum of Art, North Carolina
Norton Museum of Art, W. Palm Beach, FL
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California
Orange County Museum, Newport Beach, California
Oakland Museum, Oakland, California
Palm Springs Desert Museum, California
Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA
Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona
Portland Museum of Art, Maine
Portland Museum of Art, Oregon
San Diego Museum of Art, California
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California
Skirball Cultural Center and Museum, Los Angeles
The Speed Art Museum, Kentucky
Tamarind Institute, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, New York
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts
The Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut