Leo Valledor (1935-1989), an Asian American artist who grew up in the Fillmore district of San Francisco, studied Abstract Expressionism at the California School of Fine Arts (currently, San Francisco Art Institute) and was part of the “Beat” scene—the cross cultural and dynamic fusion of visual art, jazz music and poetry. He exhibited his artwork at the 6 Gallery at the age of 19, the same year and location of Alan Ginsberg’s first public reading of his poem, Howl. This period also marked a dramatic shift in Leo Valledor’s art to a reductive palette and simple geometric shapes. In 1961 he moved to New York and was an early member and founder of the now famous Park Place Group, where his new minimalist tendencies were appreciated by and exhibited with Sol Le Witt, Robert Smithson, Ed Ruda, Mark di Suvero, Peter Forakis and Tamara Melcher, among others. In 1968, Leo Valledor returned to San Francisco where he continued to explore his unique abstract painting that extended musical harmonies and rhythms to shaped canvases and colors. Many of his paintings also produced optical effects as they played with the tension between the two and three-dimensional planes.
Leo Valledor had over 22 solo and two person exhibitions in important galleries and museums on both coasts, including Park Place Gallery and Graham Gallery in NY and 6 Gallery, Modernism, Dilexi Gallery and Daniel Weinberg Gallery in San Francisco, as well as the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Valledor’s artwork is included in many important public and private collections, including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA), De Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, Seattle Art Museum, Oakland Museum, Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia Museum of Art, and St. Louis Museum of Art among others.