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Lennart Anderson sitting in a chair in his studio with gray cat on his lap
“Some people call it nature, but it's really light. And light is a blessing for everything it touches, really. So I try very consciously to paint the way something looks in that light.”
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This oral history was compiled from several recorded conversations with the artist Lennart Anderson between January 2012 and July 2013, and was first published on the website, Painting Perceptions, in November 2013. We worked closely with Anderson in organizing and editing this interview before it appeared at Painting Perceptions, meeting with him in his studio to read through and clarify his answers to these questions.


Among other things, Lennart Anderson discusses:

  • His vision loss due to macular degeneration and how it’s impacted his painting.
  • How his post-macular painting techniques differ from his pre-macular ones.
  • Beginning to paint from perception when he was in graduate school at The Cranbrook Academy in the early 1950s.
  • His first years in New York City (to which he moved after graduate school), when he attended the Artist’s Club and met several abstract expressionist artists, including Willem DeKooning, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, and Milton Resnick.
  • His belief in the need to “steal” from and be influenced by historical painters.

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“[There] are two kinds of disturbances of the eyes, stemming from two sources – when they have been transferred from light to darkness and when they have been transferred from darkness to light.”
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