ILLINOIS HISTORICAL ART PROJECT
LOUIS ALEXANDER NEEBE
LOUIS ALEXANDER NEEBE was born in Philadelphia on August 18, 1873, and studied at Smith's Academy, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. His outstanding teachers were Chas. F . Brown, Wellington J. Reynolds, Walter Ufer, George W. Senseney and Frederick F. Fursman. He has painted in Florida and throughout the south, and in Michigan and Wisconsin, is a member of the Chicago Society of Artists, the Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists, the Illinois Academy of Fine Arts and the Art Institute of Chicago Alumni Association, and has exhibited in Florida, New York, Chicago and various other Illinois cities. He has had one-man shows in Chicago, Florida and Waukegan, Ill. He is represented in the permanent collection of the State Museum at Springfield, Illinois, and with murals in the Karcher Hotel at Waukegan, Illinois. His work has been written about in Florida and Chicago newspapers and in The Mentor.
It is my belief that the function of the painter is to paint and not to make statements. Anyway whatever I have to say regarding my paintings is said in the paintings themselves. That is anything which might be considered significant. However, since it is asked of me, I shall give utterance to a few opinions-opinions which among artists, at any rate, have by this time the status of platitudes. I believe that art should be the expression of the artist's personality. And I feel that my work is that. My work is more nearly "realistic" than the work of many of my artist-friends. Nevertheless, subject matter is of little significance to me except as a starting point and as a nucleus around which, or out of which, to construct form, form which carries thought and feeling. Color I use, of course, as I take it every artist does, to create the illusion of volume and the illusion of distance. That means that I use it as a contribution to form, but I use color even more deliberately than that in my effort to achieve meaningful form. I have said that my work is, or seems to be, more nearly "realistic" than the work of some of my artist friends. But that does not mean that I never go in for pure abstraction. I do, and I believe that the purely abstract is of real importance in art. My work is a combination of personal expression and contribution to society-that is if the term "contribution to society" be considered in a loose sense. I do not attempt to preach anything by means of my painting. But I do hope that it gives some pleasure to those who see it. Louis Alexander Neebe.