Joseph Kleitsch: A Kaleidoscope of Color


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Author: Patricia Trenton
“Lavishly illustrated, this definitive study encompasses Kleitsch’s career in capturing the light and beauty of California. Includes forwards by Jean Stern, Joan Irvine Smith, and James Swinden, selected bibliography, and an index of illustrations.”

“The Hungarian-born artist Joseph Kleitsch (1882-1931) has been hailed as one of the outstanding California plein-air painters of his time. While he is praised for his sensitive, engaging portraits and his masterful still lifes, he is perhaps best known for his joyous, Impressionistic paintings of Southern California, especially his depictions of Laguna Beach and Mission San Juan Capistrano. His sumptuous colors and vigorous brushstrokes bring to life the California of the 1920s, with its pristine environment and small-town character. Kleitsch was fascinated by its evocative scenes, and he sought to preserve them on canvas before they disappeared forever. Patricia Trenton’s definitive study of Kleitsch’s art and life illustrates how this dynamic artist resisted easy categorization, as he gradually shifted from realism to abstraction, tonalism to Impressionism. ln his ever-evolving efforts to convey the region’s distinctive light and atmospheric effects, Kleitsch created what one critic described as “veritable singing tapestries of color.” Combining a deep reverence for nature with an eye for historical significance and the requisite skill to execute his vision, he gave us a magnificent legacy that could never be duplicated.”

Publisher: The Irvine Museum (January 1, 2007).
Hardcover; 283 pages, over 250 color plates, black and white images, appendices, and an extensive bibliography with notes and index, new.