A disciple of the grand action painting first consecrated by Franz Kline and Willem de Kooning in the 1950s, Edvins Strautmanis began developing his own larger-than-life works after moving to New York in 1970. While Strautmanis built on the foundation of Abstract Expressionism, he brought more body-conscious methods to that vocabulary, akin to the perfomative paintings of Gutai artists such as Kazuo Shiraga. Working on canvases that he laid on the ground, Strautmanis used enormous brushes and brooms to apply the grand sweeps of color and texture in flux that typify his best known works.
Strautmanis was born in Latvia and emigrated with his family to Chicago in 1950. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and worked in the graphics department of Playboy magazine. He began exhibiting in Chicago in 1965, before moving to New York in 1970. Over the years, Strautmanis showed at LoGiudice Gallery, Allan Stone Gallery and Stephen Rosenberg Gallery. His work is included in many notable collections, including The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Herbert F Johnson Museum of Cornell University, the Phoenix Museum of Art, the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, and the Kunsthaus in Zurich, Switzerland. Strautmanis has been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Art in America, and Artforum. The artist passed away in 1992.