John Altoon


John Altoon (November 5, 1925 – February 8, 1969) was an American artist. Born in Los Angeles to immigrant Armenian parents, from 1947 to 1949 he attended the Otis Art Institute, from 1947 to 1950 he also attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, and in 1950 the Chouinard Art Institute. Altoon was a prominent figure in the LA art scene in the 1950s and 1960s. Exhibitions of his work have been held at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, The Baxter Museum, Pasadena, and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (opened June 2014).

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Trained as a commercial illustrator as well as a fine artist, Altoon developed both an abstract vocabulary influenced by Abstract Expressionism and a figurative style (often erotically charged and with socio-political content) that reflected his commercial background. He also developed a hybrid style combining abstraction with figuration. A post-modernist before his time, Altoon had a facility with line, color, and subject matter that resonated with his peers.

Country of birth

United States


Artist, painter

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John Altoon

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Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed May 23, 2024.