American painter born in Sturgis, Michigan. Studied art history at Northwestern University until 1936, and painting at California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, 1936-8. Painted landscapes, portraits and figure scenes of American life. Taught painting at the California School of Fine Arts 1945-8 and 1949-52, at the same period as Douglas MacAgy, Clyfford Still and Mark Rothko, and began in 1947 to paint in an Abstract Expressionist style related to Still's. First one-man exhibition at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 1947. From c.1954 introduced fragmentary calligraphic imagery, sometimes erotic, with a dynamic emphasis akin to traditional jazz. Lived from 1953 at Sebastopol, California, then 1962-3 in England, mainly at Mousehole, Cornwall, where he began to return to a more figurative style. Taught at the University of California, first at Berkeley 1963-5, then at Los Angeles 1965-6; made humorous, satirical figure paintings of Southern California. Moved to England in 1966 to teach art at Bristol Polytechnic, and began c.1970 to paint in a geometric abstract style. Lives in Bristol.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.694