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Artist Edward Pramuk (b. 1936) studied painting, drawing, and printmaking at the Akron Art Institute before continuing his education at the graduate level at Kent State University and Queens College. While attending university Pramuk studied under Abstract Expressionist, James Brooks, a member of the Irascibles; a group of eighteen artists who are credited with popularizing the Abstract Expressionist movement.
Naturally, Pramuk spent many years creating art inspired by the stylistic elements of Abstract Expressionism. However, by the 1970s he was experimenting with geometric abstraction. Blue Shift, is one of Pramuk’s first explorations into the style. In this painting he has embraced the visual dominance of red while using shifting blue planes to anchor the scene and create a dimensional space from the flattened forms. Throughout his long career Pramuk has continued to seek new styles of expression. In the 1980s he moved from hard-edged geometrics to create figurative work, later he would work with collage and polaroid prints.
In 1964 Pramuk accepted a teaching position at Louisiana State University. Since then he has been encouraging and promoting the contemporary art and artists of Baton Rouge and South Louisiana. He retired from LSU in 2000, after thirty-five years teaching painting, drawing, printmaking, and design. In that time Pramuk also headed the painting division for fifteen years, pioneered the university’s bachelor of fine arts degree and also helped introduce and foster the visiting Baton Rouge artist program in the School of Art. Pramuk is one of the founding members of the Baton Rouge Gallery, which is today one of the country’s oldest artist co-ops.
Ed Pramuk, Blue Shift, 1970. Acrylic on canvas, 69 x 79 inches. Gift of Donald J. Boutté and Michael D. Robinson in honor of Edward and Mary Vlcek Pramuk. Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 2019.012.002
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