As a native-born Angeleno, artist Dave Lefner has always had a love for the city that surrounds him. His work reflects a nostalgia for its aging, but unique storefronts, signage, architecture, and car culture from all areas up and down the Left Coast. For 24 years, Lefner has lived and worked in his studio at The Brewery Artist Lofts complex near DTLA, considered to be the world’s largest of its kind. For Lefner, this sunny, urban landscape serves as the perfect inspiration for his detailed, very limited-edition, reduction linoleum block prints.

He received a BA in Art from California State University at Northridge in 1993. It was there he discovered a love of typography, the colorful, abstract NYC cityscapes of Stuart Davis, as well as his biggest inspiration- Picasso’s series of linocuts from the 1950s.For three decades now, Lefner has dedicated himself to preserving and perfecting what seems to be the dying art form of reduction block printmaking. Because of the immediacy of today’s world, this technique is being lost in the face of a digital age. But it’s the challenge and mystery of this labor-intensive process that intrigues him most, and continually drives him forward.

Lefner is widely recognized as a Master of his craft. Represented by several galleries in the States, he has exhibited abroad, as well. A solo exhibition in 2018, at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, garnered him a Los Angeles Times article, the third of his career. His detailed prints are also in numerous private and public collections, including the Permanent Collection of Prints and Drawings of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), as well as the Lamont Gallery at Phillips Exeter Academy. He was featured in a 12-minute documentary short, by Serena Creative, which airs frequently on KCET’s (PBS Socal) “Artbound”.

Artist Statement

I believe my work reflects the vision of an old soul. From my subject matter to my chosen process, I pay my respects to a time gone by, while trying to re-invent its relevance in this contemporary world. My Art yearns for the days when the beauty of mid-century design and true craftsmanship reigned… even if I am too young to have experienced it firsthand.

My earliest influences range from the art of letterpress, typefaces, and fonts, the paintings of Stuart Davis abstracting the urban landscape of New York City in the 1920s, to my biggest inspiration- Picasso’s series of reduction linocuts from the 1950s. This unique, labor-intensive form of printmaking resonated with how I wanted to create Art… the artisan way- through a dedication to technical craft, as well as using an innate creative ability.

Gravitating to a hidden language of words and phrases around us everywhere, I became fascinated by the intricate shadows cast from the aging signs of an abandoned theatre, a motel at midday, or the sleek “to the moon” design of a classic automobile parked on a city street… This is where I find my Muse.