The Oregon artist Nelson Sandgren (1917-2006) worked in three distinct media - oil painting, watercolor, and lithography - distinguishing himself in each of these modes throughout his sixty-five-year career. Nelson Sandgren: An Artist's Life is the first in-depth study of this mid-century Oregon modernist who was born in Canada, grew up in Chicago, and moved with his family to Oregon during the Depression. As a watercolorist who loved to paint on site, often on the Oregon coast, Sandgren worked in the tradition of Winslow Homer and John Marin. In oil painting, he combined modernist abstraction with Pacific Northwest landscape imagery, in this practice paralleling Louis Bunce, Carl Morris, and other Oregon moderns. As a lithographer, Sandgren was central to the printmaking culture that Gordon Gilkey promoted at Oregon State university, where Sandgren taught for thirty-eight years. Roger Hull provides a detailed biography and a close analysis of Sandgren's key artworks while demonstrating Sandgren's significant place in Pacific Northwest modernist tradition.
Roger Hull is the Senior Faculty Curator at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art and professor emeritus of art history at Willamette University. He was named Oregon Professor of the Year in 1993 by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. In 1999, he received an Oregon Governor's Arts Award in recognition of his efforts to establish the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. He is married to the artist Bonnie Hull.