June Harwood / The Benton Museum of Art

June Harwood Paintings at The Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College

Although Harwood was a key figure in the West Coast Hard Edge movement, this is the first museum retrospective of her work. It focuses on various series of her 50 year career.

It was Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley, and John McLaughlin who received much of the attention in the late 1950s Hard Edge scene. The group became known as The Four Abstract Classicists, from the 1959 exhibition of the same name. It was Harwood's art critic husband, Jules Langsner, who not only curated that exhibition but has been credited with the term "Hard Edge." I'm not sure it would be appropriate to call her the fifth Beatle of the Abstract Classicists but she was included in Langsner's second exhibition, California Hard-Edge Painting. The show also included Florence Arnold, John Barbour, Larry Bell, John Coplans, Helen Lundeberg, Dorothy Waldman, and the original four abstract classicists.

A painting from Harwood's Sliver Series (1960-61)

Colorform Series, 1966

Jigsaw Series, 1975

You know I like a good ephemera vitrine

June and the Four Abstract Classicists exhibition catalog

Loop Series, 1966

Network Series, 1966

Migration Series, 1990

The Benton also has some painting up by Karl Benjamin and John Mclaughlin to complete the full Hard Edge experience.

Another Karl Benjamin

It was my first time visiting the Benton. If the John Mason at the entrance and this Harwood exhibition are any indication, it's definitely a space to watch. 

June Harwood Paintings is on view until January 7, 2024

Learn more about June Harwood at the June Harwood Charitable Trust