Helen Lundeberg was born in Chicago and moved to Pasadena, California, with her family in 1912. She was a gifted child and as a young adult was inclined to become a writer. However, after taking an art class taught by Lorser Feitelson at the Stickney Memorial School of Art in Pasadena, Lundeberg was inspired to pursue a career as an artist.
Along with Lorser Feitelson in 1934, Lundeberg founded Subjective Classicism, better known as Post Surrealism. Unlike European Surrealism, Post Surrealism did not rely on random dream imagery. Instead, carefully planned subjects were used to guide the viewer through the painting, gradually revealing a deeper meaning. This method of working appealed to Lundeberg’s highly intellectual sensibilities.
Themes of Post Surrealism continued in Lundeberg’s paintings until the 1950s, when she began to explore geometric abstraction. Always based in reality, Lundeberg created mysterious images that exist somewhere between abstraction and figuration. Repeatedly described as formal and lyrical, Lundeberg’s paintings rely on precise compositions that utilize various restricted palettes. This creates images that posses a certain moodiness or emotional content unique to her work.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Lundeberg continued her journey through abstraction, exploring imagery associated with landscapes, interiors, still-life, planetary forms and intuitive compositions she called enigmas. In the 1980s, Lundeberg created her final body of work – a confident series of paintings that deal with landscapes and architectural elements. Throughout her 60-year career, Lundeberg imbued her work with a personal vision, exposing the imaginative world of her mind.
Helen Lundeberg’s works are included in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C., the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and numerous other public and private collections.