Fred Otnes, who passed away Tuesday, July 28, at age 89, brought abstract art to The Saturday Evening Post cover in 1966. As popular taste began to shift slowly away from illustration toward photography and television in the 1960s, Otnes abandoned the narrative style he employed to illustrate Post fiction such as “Kiowa Moon” by Alan LeMay. The move set him apart from other commercial artists of his time, and his willingness to embrace the abstract and chaotic nature of collage put him in high demand during one of the most turbulent decades of American history, an era of Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, and the Kennedys’ assassinations. As an illustrator and fine artist, Otnes won more than 200 awards in his lifetime.
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