Bent Franklin Larsen was born in Monroe, Utah in 1882. A pioneering art educator and modern landscape painter, he made a varied contribution to Utah's artistic tradition. He died in Provo, Utah in 1970.
Larsen received his education at Snow College and Brigham Young University. He earned his M.A. in 1922 from the University of Utah. Larsen studied at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1922. From 1924 to 1925 he studied in Paris at the Académie Julian.
Examples of his work are Uzerche Tanner, France (1929), M ine at Mammoth (1932), and Kolob Canyon near Springville (1936). His painting Susquehanna River(1955) bridged the gap between his typical landscape style and his later modernist experimentation.
Biography adapted from Artists of Utah and Springville Museum
In 1929 Harold R. Clark of the Brigham Young University helped sponsor B. F. Larsen on a year's sabbatical to France. This trip proved to be the artist's most creative period, allowing Larsen enough time and inspiration to produce his best work. Unlike his 1924-25 trip when he studied at the Academie Julian in Paris, this year long stay was more of a painting trip to Paris, Moret Sur-Loing, Cordes and Uzerche in France, Cuenca in Spain and Fez in Morocco.
Marie Hull, an important painter from Mississippi, was with B. F. Larsen for part of the painting expedition. Later they exchanged exhibitions in Mississippi and Provo, Utah. Because he was able to devote full-time to painting, Larsen was able to produce about one-third of his life's oeuvre [work] during this creative period. Uzerche Tannery is one of Larsen's strongest oils and demonstrates his mentor's, Andre L'hote's abstract influences. When he returned to Utah in 1930, he was classed among Utah's “Modernists“. His work was an amalgam of powerful brushwork and rhythms, with subtle and earthy citrus colors.
Biography courtesy Springville Museum of Art.
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