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on Nov 26, 2014 in | Comments Off on Ben Abril – Early Automobile

(Click to Enlarge)
Oil on Canvas
12 x 16 inches
20 x 24 inches framed
Excellent condition
Signed Ben Abril lower right

Ben Abril (1923 – 1995), known for his California plein air landscapes and views of the state’s historical and architectural landmarks, he is well represented in many important private, public and corporate collections. He is particularly noted for his paintings of downtown Los Angeles and the picturesque neighborhood of Bunker Hill, with its Angels Flight funicular railway and the Victorian mansions and cottages that clustered around it but were demolished shortly after Abril painted them. Thirty-five of these scenes are in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History.
Born in Los Angeles in 1923, Abril studied art throughout his childhood. After graduating from Glendale High School in 1941, he served in the US Air Force in Southern England, where he was inspired by his encounters with the works of Constable and Gainsborough to take up landscape painting. After the war he returned to Los Angeles and studied at the Glendale School of Allied Arts under Stan Parkerhouse and Arthur Beaumont. Under Beaumont’s influence he concentrated on watercolors, but later gravitated towards oil as his primary medium, finding a new strength of expression in the texture achieved through the use of the palette knife. While continuing his fine art studies at Otis, Art Center, and Chouinard, he also studied architecture and supported his wife and family by working for the County of Los Angeles as a cartographer and architectural design consultant. Abril retired from this job after eleven years to paint full-time, enjoying a growing reputation and increasing sales of his paintings. Abril was honored with several one-man shows at galleries and museums across the country and two important commissions from the US Navy: one to depict American naval installations in Japan during the occupation, and one to paint in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. He also illustrated children’s books and worked on movie and television productions as a scenic painter.
Abril, Ben. Images of a Golden Era. Glendale, CA: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1987
Hughes, Edan. Artists in California, 1786-1940 San Francisco: Hughes Publishing Company, 1989