John Ferren American, 1905-1970


An integral member of the American Abstract movement, Ferren was one of the few American artists who developed his painting style while living in Paris along with such avant-garde figures as Pierre Matisse who hosted a show of Ferren's work in his New York Gallery in 1936, Pablo Picasso who befriended him, as well as Kandinsky and Mondrian who exhibited with him. Ferren would eventually become the president of The Club in New York City, which represented the intellectual center of Abstract Expressionism. He was included in Leo Castelli's seminal "Ninth Street Show" just a year before Outdoors was painted. In the late 1950s, he collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock on the films The Trouble with Harry (1955) and Vertigo (1958), serving as artistic consultant. A bold and instinctive feeling for color and its possibilities set Ferren apart from his contemporaries; in all his art Ferren attempted to discover reality apart from sheer appearance.


San Francisco Art Association, CA, 1923-30

Los Angeles Art Association, CA, 1923-30

Galerie Zak, Paris, 1932

Matisse Gallery, NY, 1936

Putzel Gallery, CA, 1936

Museum of Modern Art, NY, 1937

San Francisco Museum of Art, CA, 1937

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, PA, 1939, 1946, 1958, 1964-66 

Corcoran Gallery, D.C., 1940-41 (solo)

Detroit Institute of Art, MD, 1946

Art Institute of Chicago, IL, 1947

Kleemann Gallery, NY, 1948-49

Museum of New Mexico, NM, 1950

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA, 1952

San Francisco Museum of Art, CA, 1952

Stanford University, CA, 1952

Iolas Gallery, NY, 1953

Stable Gallery, NY, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958 

Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, PA, 1955

Pasadena Museum of Art, CA, 1955

Provincetown Art Festival, MA, 1958

Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York, Abstract Expressionists and Imagists, 1961

American Embassy Gallery, London, 1965

Museums and Public Collections

Crocker Museum, Sacramento, CA

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

San Francisco Art Museum, San Francisco, CA

Santa Barabara Museum, Santa Barbara, CA

Scripps College, Claremont, CA

Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln Nebraska

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York

Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago

University of California Art Museum, Berkeley, CA

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