Ocean Park Series #8
John Altoon (American, 1925-1969)
On View

John Altoon came to prominence through his association with the Ferus Gallery of Los Angeles in the late 1950s. In 1961, Altoon moved into a studio in Venice, California and soon after began working on the Ocean Park series, named after a local neighborhood. This group of 18 paintings, and several works on paper, was a departure from Altoon’s usual all-over style of painting, because he eliminated much of the background by leaving most of the canvas surface empty and began on a neutral field.

Ocean Park Series #8, although abstract and seemingly spontaneous, is actually a unique view of the California coast. Although painting on a two dimensional canvas, Altoon depicts a landscape’s depth in the way that the fore-, middle- and backgrounds are all included in the composition. Broad, gestural strokes reveal the yellow and orange rays of the sun streaming down over blue and white cresting ocean waves that crash onto the brown landscape on which green vegetation grows.


  • Artist Name: John Altoon (American, 1925-1969)
  • Title: Ocean Park Series #8
  • Date: 1962
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 81-1/2 x 84 in. (207 x 213.4 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Museum, Anonymous Gift
  • Accession Number: P.1964.30
  • Copyright: © 2022 The Estate of John Altoon and Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles

Object Information

Anonymous, gift 1964 to;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, 1964-1975;
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, 1975.

John Altoon

  • San Francisco Museum of Art, 1967-11-14 to 1976-12-24
  • Pasadena, Pasadena Art Museum, 1968-01-09 to 1968-03-05
  • San Diego, University of California San Diego, 1968-03-26 to 1968-04-28

West Coast 1945-1969

  • Pasadena Art Museum, 1969-11-24 to 1970-01-18

John Altoon

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2014-06-08 to 2014-09-14

Paintings and Works on Paper by John Altoon

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1993-03-18 to 1993-09-18
  • , to

John Altoon

  • La Jolla, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, 1997-12-07 to 1998-03-11

West Coast Art

  • Pasadena Art Museum, 1972-06-20 to 1972-09-03

Pasadena to Santa Barbara: A Selected History of Art in Southern California, 1951-1969

  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 2012-02-11 to 2012-05-06

Permanent and Loan Collection, 1974

  • Pasadena Museum of Modern Art, 1974-03-16 to 1974-06-06

Selections from the Permanent Collection

  • Pasadena Art Museum, 1971-07-13 to 1971-09-19

Made in America: Contemporary Painting and Sculpture from the Norton Simon Museum

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1999-06-24 to 2000-03-26

Radical Past: Contemporary Art and Music in Pasadena, 1960-1974

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1999-02-07 to 1999-06-06
  • Armory Center for the Arts, 1999-02-07 to 1999-04-11
  • Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, Calif.), 1999-02-07 to 1999-04-25

Alternate Realities: Altoon, Diebenkorn, Lobdell, Woelffer

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2022-05-13 to 2022-08-22
  • Norland, G., John Altoon, no. 5 p. 7
  • Knight, Christopher, Los Angeles Times,
  • Hales, Andrea, John Altoon, 1967, p. 27
  • Pasadena Art Museum, West Coast 1945-1969, 1969,
  • Armory Center for the Arts/Art Center College of Design, Radical Past: Contemporary Art & Music in Pasadena, 1960-1974, 1999, p. 37
  • The Armenian Reporter International, 1999, p. 19
  • Joyce, Julie et al., Pasadena to Santa Barbara: A Selected History of Art in Southern California, 1951-1969, 2012, p. 38
  • Jeff Gunderson, Sherri Fowler, Karin Breuer, Ed Hardy: Deeper than Skin, 2019, fig. 20 pp. 39-40; p. 40 (ill.)

Additional Artwork by Artist

About Women John Altoon 1965-66
About Women John Altoon 1965-66
About Women John Altoon 1965-66

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