John Little

1907 - 1984

John Little was born in 1907 in Alabama and as a teenager attended the Buffalo Fine Arts academy from 1924 to 1927. Soon after he moved to New York, where he began operatic vocal training and opened what became a very successful textile business designing fabric and wallpaper. In 1933 he began classes at the Art Students League with George Grosz, painting mainly Cezannesque landscapes. In 1937 he started working with Hans Hofmann in both New York and Provincetown, which pushed him towards abstraction and his first serious involvement as a painter. At Hofmann’s school he met artists such as Lee Krasner, George McNeil, Gerome Kamrowski, Giorgio Cavallon and Perle Fine. In 1942 he went into the service as a navy aerial photographer.After the war he returned to New York and, with nowhere to stay, moved into Hans Hofmann’s 8th Street studio where his neighbors were Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock. The paintings of the late 1940s reveal great experimentation and a growing interest in both Surrealist automatism, Picasso, and the theories of Hans Hofmann. In 1946 Little was given his first one-man show at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco with a follow-up solo show at Betty Parsons in 1948. In the early 1950s Little abandoned the flat, linear style of the 40s with new works painted in thick, gestural buildup of paint. He also began a series of constructions created from driftwood and beach-combing detritus. In 1951 he moved to East Hampton, where he maintained a closed friendship with Pollock - the two had a joint exhibition in 1955 at Guild Hall. In 1957 Little helped found the Signa Gallery, an important outpost in East Hampton for the growing New York art scene and host to many influential exhibitions. Little continued to actively exhibit until his death in 1984.Little had solo exhibitions at, among others, Betty Parsons Gallery in 1948, Bertha Schaefer Gallery in 1957 and 1958, Worth Ryder Gallery in 1963, A.M. Sachs Gallery in 1971 and a retrospective at the Guild Hall Museum in 1982. His work is part of the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guild Hall Museum, Ball State University Museum of Art and Galerie Beyeler among others.

John Little (1907 - 1984)
John Little
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Still Life, 1948
oil on canvas
30 x 24 inches
#8365
John Little (1907 - 1984)
John Little
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Still Life, 1948
oil on canvas
30 x 24 inches
#8365
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Suspended Form, 1947
oil on canvas
30 x 40 inches
#12270
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Forest Light II, 1949
oil on canvas
24 x 30 inches
#12271
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Starbird, 1961
oil on canvas
43 x 36 inches
#12272
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Sidewinder, 1960
oil on canvas
27 x 41 inches
#12278
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Tropic of Cancer II, 1960
oil on canvas
60 x 76 inches
#12103
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Prophet, 1946
oil on canvas
78 x 36 inches
#12100
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Untitled, 1969
acrylic on paper
26 1/2 x 20 1/2 inches
#9664
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Maskelyne (Moon Crater near Equator), 1971
Oil and sand on canvas
80 x 75 inches
#7749
John Little (1907 - 1984)
62-2, 1962
Oil on canvas
77 x 48 inches
#8223
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Nubium Sea, 1969
Oil on canvas
48 x 43 inches
#8227
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Ominous Presence, 1947
Oil on canvas
25 x 22 inches
#8244
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Jade Emperor, 1970
Oil on canvas
52 x 44 inches
#8235
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Aristarchus (Crater Red Glow), 1969
oil on canvas
100 x 38 inches
#8251
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Space Odyssey, 1970-71
oil on canvas
95 x 76 inches
#7748
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Untitled, 1962
ink on paper
20 1/2 x 26 1/2 inches
#9694
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Choctawhatchee, 1974
silkscreen print on paper, edition of 15
23 1/2 x 28 1/2 inches
#9612
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Duck Creek (Landscape), 1982
silkscreen print on paper, edition of 25
21 1/2 x 29 inches
#9610
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Untitled, 1971
acrylic on paper
30 1/2 x 22 1/4 inches
#9659
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Skier, 1978
ink on paper
30 1/4 x 22 1/4 inches
#9594
John Little (1907 - 1984)
Untitled, 1965
collage
13 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches
#6251