1908 - 1994


Museum Collections


The Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, TX

The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME

Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Gallery Di Vilane, Civici Muses Galleries, Italy

Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY

High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA

Housatonic Art Museum, Bridgeport, CT

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI

Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Naples Museum of Art, Naples, FL

Parrish Art Museum, Southhampton, NY

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Williams College, Lawrence H. Bloedel Collection, Williamstown, MA

Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA

Yale University Art Collection, New Haven, CT





John Opper merged elements of Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting to produce large, powerful paintings that, in the words of Rhode Island School of Design president Lee Hall in 1978, “praise the materials and processes of painting as well as the driving human forces that insist on art.”


Academically trained at the Cleveland School of Art and the Chicago Art Institute, it was not until the mid-1930s, while studying under Hans Hofmann in New York, that Opper transitioned from representational art to abstraction. In, 1936, Opper became a founding member of the American Abstract Artists, and by the 1940s, he was showing frequently in large museum exhibitions and receiving widespread attention. From the early 1960s until his death in 1994, Opper’s work held to a signature composition of steady, columnar forms of closely-toned colors placed against one another.


Opper taught for many years at New York University, retiring in 1974 as Professor Emeritus. He received many prestigious awards over the course of his six-decade-long career, including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, and the Jimmy Ernst Award from the Academy of Arts & Letters.














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