Skip to content
New Year Sale
New Year Sale

Museum Quality Fine Art Prints & Custom Framing

No products in the cart.

No products in the cart.

Albert Contreras

December 15, 2022 - June 17, 2017
Loading

""

Albert Contreras was born in Los Angelas, California in 1933. After graduating from Hollywood High School, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Korean War. With the benefits of the GI Bill, he took painting and ceramics classes at Los Angeles City College in 1955. During the late 1950s, he studied at Mexico City College for six months, then the University of Madrid in Spain for a year. Contreras lived in Stockholm, Sweden, from 1960 to 1969. His five solo shows of his simple paintings of circles and monochrome canvases earned the attention of both collectors and curators. At the urging of art dealer Leo Castelli, he returned to the United States and worked in New York for three years. In 1972, disillusioned with the modern art scene and considering his own work to be reductive, he quit painting and moved back to California. He became a city employee in Santa Monica, working on public works projects and driving garbage trucks. His retirement in 1992 brought on a depressive episode, prompting Contreras to spend five years in therapy. His treatment reignited his desire to paint, and he often joked that he had to make up for 25 years of lost time. The extravagant work of his second act, with bright colors, mixing of glitter and sand into his pigments, and sculputrally layered paint, was starkly different from the minimalist style that made him famous. His first exhibition in 31 yearsat the USC Fisher Museum of Art in 2000 marked his return to art. He would show his work much more frequently than he did before his hiatus, and then donate many of the pieces to museums and universities. Albert Contreras died on June 17, 2017, in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

Scroll To Top