Tony DeLap

Last updated

Tony DeLap
Tony DeLap with Goky at home in Corona del Mar, CA.JPG
DeLap with Goky at home in Corona del Mar, CA
Born(1927-11-04)November 4, 1927
DiedMay 29, 2019(2019-05-29) (aged 91)
Education California College of the Arts, Academy of Art San Francisco, Claremont Graduate University
Spouse(s)Kathy DeLap

Tony DeLap (November 4, 1927 – May 29, 2019) was a West Coast artist, known for his abstract sculpture utilizing illusionist techniques and meticulous craftsmanship. As a pioneer of West Coast minimalism and Op Art, DeLap's oeuvre is a testament to his willingness to continuously challenge the viewer's perception of reality.[ citation needed ]


Early career

Born in 1927 in Oakland, [1] DeLap grew up in the Bay Area and studied art, illustration, and graphic design at several Bay Area colleges, including the San Francisco Academy of Art, and he also attended the Claremont Colleges [2] in Southern California. He returned to the Bay Area, where he taught at the California College of Arts and Crafts, the San Francisco Art Institute and at UC Davis until he secured a teaching position at the newly founded campus of the University of California, Irvine. Bruce Nauman, James Turrell and John McCracken studied with DeLap.

Along with artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, DeLap followed a path of Geometric abstraction and Minimal art embracing the principles of limited color, geometry, precise craftsmanship, and intellectual rigor. Since the early 1960s, he was associated with an emerging movement of West Coast minimalism referred to as "finish fetish," along with several other artists including Craig Kauffman, Larry Bell, and DeWain Valentine.


DeLap's work has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally. Along with numerous solo exhibitions, DeLap was included in several important group exhibitions of the 1960s including; Primary Structures at the Jewish Museum; American Sculpture of the Sixties at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and The Responsive Eye at The Museum of Modern Art, New York City. He died on May 29, 2019 at the age of 91. [3]


DeLap's work is in many private and public collections, including the San Jose Museum of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; The Museum of Modern Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; and The Tate Gallery, London, among others. [4]

DeLap and Mentalist Mark Edward, 2015 Tony DeLap and Mark Edward 2015.JPG
DeLap and Mentalist Mark Edward, 2015

Related Research Articles

Richard Diebenkorn American painter

Richard Diebenkorn was an American painter and printmaker. His early work is associated with abstract expressionism and the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. In the late 1960s he began his extensive series of geometric, lyrical abstract paintings. Known as the Ocean Park paintings, these paintings were instrumental to his achievement of worldwide acclaim.

John McCracken (artist) American minimalist artist

John Harvey McCracken was a minimalist artist. He lived and worked in Los Angeles, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and New York.

Terry Alan Fox was an American Conceptual artist known for his work in performance art, video, and sound. He was of the first generation conceptual artists and he was a central participant in the West Coast performance art, video and Conceptual Art movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Fox was active in San Francisco and in Europe, living in Europe in the latter portion of his life.

Wally Bill Hedrick was a seminal American artist in the 1950s California counterculture, gallerist, and educator who came to prominence in the early 1960s. Hedrick’s contributions to art include pioneering artworks in psychedelic light art, mechanical kinetic sculpture, junk/assemblage sculpture, Pop Art, and (California) Funk Art. Later in his life, he was a recognized forerunner in Happenings, Conceptual Art, Bad Painting, Neo-Expressionism, and image appropriation. Hedrick was also a key figure in the first important public manifestation of the Beat Generation when he helped to organize the Six Gallery Reading, and created the first artistic denunciation of American foreign policy in Vietnam. Wally Hedrick was known as an “idea artist” long before the label “conceptual art” entered the art world, and experimented with innovative use of language in art, at times resorting to puns.

James Edward Grant was an American painter and sculptor active from the late 1950s into the early 1970s. Best known for his sculptural work in plastics, this work by no means defined him, but was rather a natural endpoint of an exploration into increased dimensionality—starting from abstract canvases, moving through collages and bas-reliefs until the work finally came off the wall in sculptural form.

Lorser Feitelson

Lorser Feitelson (1898–1978) was an artist known as one of the founding fathers of Southern California-based hard-edge painting. Born in Savannah, Georgia, Feitelson was raised in New York City, where his family relocated shortly after his birth. His rise to prominence occurred after he moved to California in 1927.

Henry Pierre Villierme was an American painter associated with abstract expressionism and the Bay Area Figurative Movement. Villierme was considered one of the "Second Generation" members of the Bay Area Figurative Movement. Villierme first rose to prominence with a series of successful exhibitions in the late 1950s. From the 1960s to the 1980s Villierme continued to paint and sculpt in his studio, and in the late 1980s returned to public exhibitions.

Craig Kauffman was an artist who has exhibited since 1951. Kauffman's primarily abstract paintings and wall relief sculptures are included in over 20 museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Tate Modern, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Peter Sarkisian is an American video and multimedia artist who lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Bruce Beasley is an American abstract expressionist sculptor born in Los Angeles and currently living and working in Oakland, California. He attended Dartmouth College from 1957–59, and the University of California, Berkeley from 1959-62 where he earned his BA.

Rinaldo Cuneo

Rinaldo Cuneo, dubbed the Painter of San Francisco, was an American artist known for his landscape paintings and murals.

Anne Bremer American painter

Anne Bremer was a California painter, influenced by Post-Impressionism, who was called "the most 'advanced' artist in San Francisco" in 1912 after art studies in New York and Paris. She was described in 1916 as “one of the strong figures among the young moderns” and later as “a crusader for the modern movement.” She had numerous solo exhibitions, including one in New York.

Ronald Bladen American painter and sculptor

Ronald Bladen was an American painter and sculptor. He is particularly known for his large-scale sculptures. His artistic stance, was influenced by European Constructivism, American Hard-Edge Painting, and sculptors such as Isamu Noguchi and David Smith. Bladen in turn had stimulating effect on a circle of younger artists including Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt and others, who repeatedly referred to him as one of the ‘father figures’ of Minimal Art.

George Herms American artist

George Herms is an American artist best known for creating assemblages out of discarded, often rusty, dirty or broken every-day objects, and juxtaposing those objects so as to infuse them with poetry, humor and meaning. He is also known for his works on paper, including works with ink, collage, drawing, paint and poetry. The prolific Herms has also created theater pieces, about which he has said, "I treat it as a Joseph Cornell box big enough that you can walk around in. It's just a continuation of my sculpture, one year at a time." Legendary curator Walter Hopps, who met Herms in 1956, "placed Herms on a dazzling continuum of assemblage artists that includes Pablo Picasso, Kurt Schwitters, Marcel Duchamp, and Joseph Cornell, as well as California luminaries Wallace Berman and Edward Kienholz." Often called a member of the West Coast Beat movement, Herms said that Wallace Berman taught him that "any object, even a mundane cast-off, could be of great interest if contextualized properly." "That’s my whole thing," Herms says. "I turn shit into gold. I just really want to see something I've never seen before." George Herms lives and works in Los Angeles.

Clayton Bailey American artist

Clayton George Bailey, was an American artist who worked primarily in the mediums of ceramic and metal sculpture.

Robert Boardman Howard (1896–1983), was a prominent American artist active in Northern California in the first half of the twentieth century. He is also known as Robert Howard, Robert B. Howard and Bob Howard. Howard was celebrated for his graphic art, watercolors, oils, and murals, as well as his Art Deco bas-reliefs and his "Modernist" sculptures and mobiles.

Harrison McIntosh

Harrison Edward McIntosh was an American ceramic artist. He was an exponent of the Mid-century Modern style of ceramics, featuring simple symmetrical forms. His work has been exhibited in venues in the United States including the Smithsonian and internationally including at the Louvre in France.

Jack Hooper (artist) American painter

Jack Hooper was an American painter, muralist, sculptor, printmaker and art educator. Hooper was a major figure on the Southern California art scene, belonging to that generation of Los Angeles painters who matured during the late 1950s and the 1960s, painters such as John Altoon, Sam Amato, Robert Irwin, Lee Mullican, William Brice and Billy Al Bengston. He was an innovator in the use of new materials, most importantly plastic in art. He is known for abstract expressionist, mural and figurative painting. Hooper has exhibited in art museums and galleries nationally and internationally including solo shows in Europe, Mexico and the United States. Modeling renown UCLA art professor and figurative artist, Jan Stussy, the last 20 years of his life were spent in rural Mexico, where he drew and painted every single day until his death.

Fred Thomas Martin (1927) is an American artist, writer and former arts administrator and educator who has been active in the San Francisco Bay Area art scene since the late 1940s. He was a driving force of the Bay Area art scene from the mid 1950s until his recent retirement from the San Francisco Art Institute. In addition to his artistic practice, Martin is widely known for his work as a longtime administrator and Professor Emeritus at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI).

Richard Faralla(1916–1996) was an American painter and sculptor.


  1. "Contemporary American Sculpture: Selection". 1966.