Horace Clifford Westermann

American , 1922 - 1981

Horace Clifford Westermann was born in 1922 in Los Angeles, California. He attended Los Angeles City College in 1940 and studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. By the time he reached thirty years of age, Westermann had served in the U.S.Marine Corps, worked as an acrobat, toured the Orient, studied commercial art and become a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.

Westermann's artistic career, which spans more than twenty years, features prints, sculpture, paintings and illustrated letters. He employed various materials in his art, such as metal, wood and paint, among many others. His works were commonly autobiographical with a sense of humor, taking concepts from personal and private events. Some of the subject matter Westermann utilized came from his military experiences, events including kamikaze attacks that he witnessed while serving as an anti- aircraft gunner on the carrier U.S.S.Enterprise.

In 1956, Westermann had his first one-man exhibition and in 1959 he was included in the exhibition “New Images of Man” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1968 he was given a retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. In 1973 he won the Grand Prix at the Sao Paulo Biennale and in 1976 he showed at the Venice Biennale. In 1978 and 1979 he had a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, which traveled to several other U.S. cities. Westermann died in 1981 and the first posthumous retrospective of his works was at the Hirshhorn Museum in 2002.


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