A first generation Abstract Expressionist artist, Dugmore studied under Thomas Hart Benton at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1940 and then under Clyfford Still at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco after the end of World War II. Still had a great influence on the development of Dugmore's art. Ernest Briggs was one of his fellow students at the time and would become a lifelong friend. Dugmore was considered by some to be "the West Coast's answer" to the Abstract Expressionist movement that was firmly rooted in New York City.
"If I say that I am not just making paintings, I would not be making myself clear. Of far greater significance and permanent value than what happens on the surface of the paintings are the ideas they are made of and the feelings they evoke when you look at them."
23rd Street #2, 1956 by Edward Dugmore placed a premium on color and emotion over intellect and tradition. Like his personal contemporaries such as Pollock, Kline, and de Kooning, Dugmore’s art was largely spontaneous and uninhibited. 23rd Street #2, 1956 is comprised of large interlocking striations of color that have been layered heavily on the canvas and which seem to fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Intense hues of red and black are broken up by striations of yellows, blues, and neutrals in the outer median of the composition, giving contrast and dimension to the piece, all while alleviating the somberness the piece carries through its central focus of rough red and black brushstrokes. Through this application, Dugmore has crafted large areas of block color that were applied with wide brushstrokes and with a series of crude, rhythmic lines. Such areas of color often resemble walls of peeling paint, maps, or geological strata.
The estate of the artist
Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles (acquired directly from the above); two gallery labels on stretcher verso
Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from above)