Burton Kopelow 1924–2015

Burton Kopelow was a California artist without any formal training. Born in Brooklyn to Jewish immigrant parent, Kopelow moved to Los Angeles In the late 1950s from the lively art scene of Greenwich Village, where he had studied philosophy on the GI Bill at New York University after returning from WWII with a the Purple Heart. It was in Los Angeles that Kopelow began his artistic work and discovered Jung, Theosophy, and Tibetan thangka paintings, which would become lifelong influences on his work. Starting in the 1960s, he became interested in the psychology of the mandala, as defined by Jung. He developed a series of mandalas and other abstract plantings exploring form and color, which he called "Chromorphism.'' This work exemplifies his interest in global spiritual archetypes and his use of painting as a personal meditative tool, culminating in a series of large canvases executed in the 1970s and 1980s. While Kopelow was living in Oaxaca, Mexico, he worked closely with local weavers to learn traditional techniques, commissioning a series of tapestries from his designs.

While Kopelow was acquainted with many famous Los Angeles artists of his time, including Wallace Berman, John Altoon, Larry Bell, and George Herms, his work remained relatively unknown for most of his life. Kopelow mounted his first solo show at the age of 89 at LA Artcore in downtown Los Angeles. Since then, his work has been exhibited at the Hangman Gallery, Hardwick, VT; LA Artcore, Los Angeles; and Hansell Art Gallery of the Philosophical Research Society, Los Angeles. Kopelow died in 2015.

Auction Results Burton Kopelow