Pacificon, 1983
Acrylic on canvas
108 x 48 in

Leo Valledor (1936-1989) was a Filipino American artist born in San Francisco’s Fillmore district who is best known for his shaped canvases and dynamic experiments in color and space. He is recognized as one of the pioneers of hard-edge movement in painting.

“We all know that at one time (especially in San Francisco) jazz, abstract expressionism and what’s known as Beat poetry were all part of one culture. It may be a cliche but it was a powerful reality. One thing helped to explain the other: one thought, different languages. I can imagine how great Leo must have felt to show his art at the Six Gallery in 1955... the same year Ginsberg first read his culture-shaking poem Howl. Where Leo’s art gets hard for some is right where it ought to get easy. Abandoning the gestural language of abstract expressionism (which would linger in the Bay Area for decades), he started to explore reduced palettes, geometric shapes, and the spatial dimension of color. This wasn’t the end of his dive into the jazz-like spirit, it was the beginning. Geometry was his style and color was his tone.”

— Lawrence Rinder