Lewis Thornton Bodecker Biography

Lewis Thornton Bodecker




Lewis Thornton Bodecker was born on June 21, 1926 in Sutter, Illinois and grew up in Walker, Illinois, later moving to Chicago. After serving in WWII he worked for the Chicago and Northwestern railroad in the Midwest in 1948. He attended the University of Illinois, earning a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree there in 1959. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he married June Holmes (1925-2004) in January in 1963.
After retirement, he appears to have studied art for four years at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, Sonoma County, California and is believed to have later occasionally taught classes there. He lived in Santa Rosa, California and then moved to Petaluma, where he died on August 21, 2009.
Bodecker was unconventional, working with the materials at hand, but typically he used acrylics on pressboard with crayon or pastel for his paintings. His drawings are mostly done in graphite and pastel. His extant work is abstract in the main, but he is known to have done some representational work as well. His compelling abstract compositions generally employ energetically applied patches of color—usually subtle, often quite dark, but sometimes vibrant—overlaid with scribbling and other linear marks, including letters and numerals. His work has a palpable energy, the energy of a man focused on the work for its own sake.