Edvins Strautmanis was born in Latvia in 1933 and after World War II emigrated with his family to Chicago in 1950.
Strautmanis graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and began exhibiting in 1965. After an exploratory hard-edge period in Chicago, working on paintings, sculptures and monotypes, Strautmanis found himself drawn to the New York art scene.
In 1971, Strautmanis moved to the East coast as so many of his peers had before him. Despite having arrived late to the party, it was Strautmanis who still made the grandest of entrances with his large-scale action paintings.
Standing above his canvases and working downward; Strautmanis used gallons upon gallons of still-wet paint; pushing, raking, mopping and slamming down his giant homemade tools to create his saturated and dynamic surfaces. Harking the visceral iconography of such classic masters as Van Gogh and Goya, Strautmanis used raw powerful and deliberate movements of his entire body to create pieces that are looming in stature, architectural in composition, which toe line of refinement and chaos, not unlike the very ethos of New York City itself.
Strautmanis' paintings are 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, the Kunsthaus in Zurich and the Latvian Museum of Art in Riga, Latvia.