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Fine American amd European Paintings  - February 2015
 
 

 
Leon Kelly
(American, born France, 1901-1982)
Egyptian Flame, 1957
Oil on canvas, 30 × 36 inches
Signed and dated at lower right: "Leon Kelly 1957"

RS 6559


Leon Kelly was born in Perpignan in the French Pyrenees and brought to Philadelphia as an infant. He entered the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (now the University of the Arts) in 1924. Afterwards he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where his most influential instructors were Earl Horter (1881–1940) and Arthur B. Carles (1882–1952). Their familiarity with French Fauvism and Cubism, as well as Horter's own collection of avant-garde European art, exerted a considerable impact on Kelly.

Kelly began to experiment with Surrealism around 1940. In the 1940s and 1950s, Kelly produced a body of paintings that, while of varied style, was consistent enough in its fantastical and Surrealist affiliation to present a coherent vision. He used a broad range of saturated colors that distinguished his paintings from those of other Surrealists and made him known as an American Surrealist with an intensely personal vision.



  


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