Doug Ohlson was born in 1936 in Cherokee, Iowa and died in 2010 in New York. After spending several years in the Marines, he finished his undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota. He moved to New York in 1961 where Ohlson took classes at Hunter College. There he met Tony Smith, Gene Goosen and Ray Parker who would all become important to Doug’s life and work. He soon joined them as a painting teacher at Hunter in 1964, a post at which he would remain until 2001.
During the 60s, Ohlson made hard-edged geometric paintings that played with nuanced relationships between colors. Throughout his career he varied the scale and method of his painting, but always retained his intensity of color and form. The critic Carter Ratcliff wrote, “A predilection for bright color survives from his early work, along with a liking for tall, rectangular shapes. The elongated panels of his early days have become the vertical slabs of color in his later canvases.”
Ohlson showed often in New York galleries, among them Fishbach Gallery, Susan Caldwell and Ruth Siegel. His work was shown alongside other color field and minimalist artists included in the major 1968 exhibition, “Art of the Real” at the Museum of Modern Art. An important 20 year survey exhibition of his work was organized and held in 2002 at Hunter College.
The Washburn Gallery has represented Doug Ohlson’s Estate since 2011. Ohlson’s work is included in many museum collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.