Don Edelman

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Don  Edelman Still Life
Still Life, 1953
oil on board
19.75 x 25.75 in
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Don  Edelman MFA Student_s Basement Apartment_ Champaign-Urbana
MFA Student's Basement Apartment, Champaign-Urbana, 1951
Oil on canvas
48 x 34 in
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Don  Edelman Texas Target Practice
Texas Target Practice, c.1977
oil on board
24 x 36 in
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Don  Edelman

Don Edelman

Don Edelman Description

DON EDELMAN (1925–2011)

Don Edelman was born in Bowie, Texas. Spending most of his childhood in Amarillo, he began creating art at a young age. Starting out by copying Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, Edelman learned that drawing was an approved and fun activity, incorporating that joy into much of his artistic process.

Edelman studied art at Washington University in St. Louis where he finished at the top of his graduating class. Reflecting on his studies, Edelman attributed his subsequent successes to the talent of Washington University’s staff, which included Fred Connelly and the famed German Expressionist Max Beckmann. Edelman mentioned that he had a very diverse faculty who instructed him in the ways of abstract art, traditional Renaissance-type art, and spectacular training in color.

Edelman went on to study at the University of Illinois but, after graduating, discovered that prospects for a career artist were quite grim. In his spare time, he made frames and sold encyclopedias, eventually receiving a position with Cameron Iron Works in Houston to create their industrial advertising. Though a steady job, it did not prove agreeable to him and Edelman eventually quit, later recalling that if he wanted to be an artist, he better get on with it. He began painting professionally and gained a following in the Houston area.

Edelman explained that his art was a way of sharing with other people what he has seen, pointing out things that are interesting to him. He was essentially a realist who enhanced his compositions with subtle strangeness, aiming for something he himself dubbed “whimsical Surrealism.” Challenging to classify, his works were always different from the imitative productions of contemporary Surrealists. Edelman mentioned that to him, each painting was a rebellion against the previous one, that he could never tell where he would get an idea from. The creation of his art was, at its core, a process of endless revision and experimentation.

Selected Biographical and Career Highlights

  • 1925 Born in Bowie, Texas
  • Officer, U.S. Navy
  • 1951, BFA, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
  • 1952 MFA, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
  • 1963-75 Industrial Design, Cameron Iron Works, Houston, Texas
  • 2011 Died in Houston, Texas

Selected Prizes, Awards

·       Visual Arts Alliance: First Prize 2000, 2005; First Prize Watercolor 2000; Juror’s Recognition 1996; Honorable Mention 1997, 1998

  • 1996 Juror’s Recognition
  • 1997 Honorable Mention
  • 1998 Honorable Mention
  • 2000 First Prize and First Prize Watercolor
  • 2005 First Prize

·       Watercolor Society/Western Federation: Merit Award and Selected for Traveling Show 1990

·       Amarillo Competition: Outstanding Achievement Award 1995

·       Watercolor Society/Houston: Graham & Co. Award and Honorable Mention 1999

·       Bosque Conservatory: Best Body of Work Award and Art Council Choice Award 2000

·       Arizona Aqueous: Award of Excellence and Juror’s Recognition Award 2001

·       National Arts for the Parks: Award of Excellence 2004

Selected Exhibitions

·       1980 Another Reality, Hooks-Epstein, Houston, Texas

·       1982 National Academy of Design, New York, New York

·       1987 Museum of Art of the American West, Houston, Texas

·       1987 Don Edelman: The Works, Hotel Intercontinental, Houston, Texas

·       1990 15th Annual Exhibition, Western Federation of Watercolor Societies, Brea, California (award, selected for traveling show)

·       1990 Texas Artists: Another Reality, McNay Museum, San Antonio, Texas

·       1990 New Art: New York, Texas, California, Laguna Gloria Museum, Austin, Texas

·       1993 Barlow, Cowell and Edelman, Atrium Gallery, Houston, Texas

·       1993, 1994 Solo, Post Gallery, Houston, Texas

·       1993 73rd Annual Exhibition, National Watercolor Society, Brea, California

·       1994 Achieving Men, Watercolor Society of Houston, Houston, Texas

·       1995 Amarillo Competition, Amarillo, Texas (award)

·       1995 Artists of the Gulf States, Corpus Christi, Texas

·       1995 Open Show, Art League of Houston, Texas

·       1997 14th Annual Open Exhibition, Visual Arts Alliance, Houston, Texas (honorable mention)

·       1996 Annual Membership Exhibition, Visual Arts Alliance, Houston, Texas (juror’s recognition)

·       1998 15th Annual Open Exhibition, Visual Arts Alliance, Houston, Texas (honorable mention)

·       1999 29th Membership Exhibition, Watercolor Society of Houston, Texas (honorable mention)

·       1999 30th Annual Membership Exhibition, Watercolor Society of Houston, Texas (award)

·       1999 22nd International Exhibition, Watercolor Society of Houston, Texas

·       2000 51st Annual Exhibition, Texas Watercolor Society, Houston, Texas

·       2000 17th Annual Open Exhibition, Visual Arts Alliance, Houston, Texas (first prize, first prize watercolor)

·       2000 Preview 2000, Bosque Conservatory Art Council, Clifton, Texas (2 awards – body of work and choice)

·       2001 Arizona Aqueous XIV, Tubac, Arizona (2 awards – excellence and juror’s recognition)

·       2003 20th Juried Membership Exhibition, Visual Arts Alliance, Houston, Texas

·       2003 Assistance League of Houston Celebrates Texas Art, Houston, Texas

·       2003 27th International Exhibition, Watercolor Society of Houston, Houston, Texas

·       2004 Arts for the Parks, Top 200 for 2004, 18th Annual National Arts Competition, Jackson Hole, Wyoming (award)

·       2004 18th Annual Open Exhibition, Visual Arts Alliance, Houston, Texas

·       2004 29th Annual Exhibition, Western Federation of Watercolor Societies, Irving, Texas

·       2005 23rd Juried Membership Exhibition, Visual Arts Alliance, Houston, Texas (first prize)

·       2006 Houston Art in Houston Collections: Works from 1900 to 1965, Heritage Society Museum, Houston, Texas

·       2006 Picturing Palo Duro, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas

·       2007-08 Urban Texas: Changing Images of an Evolving State, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas

·       2008 Founders of Houston Art: Thirty Artists Who Led the Way, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas

·       2009 Painting West Texas: 35 Artists/100 Years, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas (catalogue)

·       2010 Water Rites: Rivers, Lakes, and Streams in Texas Art, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas

·       2010 Third Anniversary Show: A Tribute to Houston Artists, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas

·       2010 The Presence of Light: Sky and Light in the Texas Landscape, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas

·       2011 Texas Natives—Texas Narratives: Don Edelman, Harvey Johnson & William Young, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas

·       2011 Lone Star Modernism: A Celebration of Mid-Century Texas Art, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas

·       2011 Breakthrough: Sixty Years of Texas Abstraction, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas

·       2012 A Survey of Texas Modernists, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas

·       2013 Summer Encore Exhibition, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas

·       2014 Houston Founders at City Hall Art Exhibition, City Hall, Houston, Texas

·       2014 A New Visual Vocabulary: Developments in Texas Modernism 1935-1965, One Allen Center, Lobby Gallery, Houston, Texas

·       2015 Bayou City Chic: Progressive Streams of Modern Art in Houston, Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas (catalogue)

Selected Public Collections

  • Beaumont Well Works, Beaumont, Texas
  • Cameron Iron Works, Houston, Texas
  • Chevron (Triptych)

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