Tag Archives: hard edge painting

ALEX COUWENBERG: SESSIONS: THE MAKING OF LA FONDA, documentary, 20min.

A very well-made and engaging mini-documentary on the working process of Alex Couwenberg.   Continue reading ALEX COUWENBERG: SESSIONS: THE MAKING OF LA FONDA, documentary, 20min.

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HAROLD KRISEL, MID-CENTURY HARD-EDGE ABSTRACTION

Harold Krisel was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1920. He studied architecture in Chicago at the New Bauhaus from 1946-1949 on the G.I. Bill after he was discharged from the army where he served from 1942-1945. Just 26 at the time he had been interested in art since studying in New York in the 1930s with Carl Holty and Harry Holtzman. He became a member of American Abstract Artists in 1946, and retained this membership for the duration of his life. In 1942 he married Rose Breuer and the couple had three daughters.Krisel completed his graduate studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1952.

His many influences there helped direct his course of study and his career path. Founder Lazlo-Nagy had just stepped down and the new director, Serge Chermayeff, recognized something special in this new student and committed to his education as an architect. Krises met famed artist Mondrian and developed friendships with Gyorgy Kepes, who founded the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT; Martin Rosenzweig, noted graphic designer; and Harold Cohen the distinguished designer and architect.

Continue reading HAROLD KRISEL, MID-CENTURY HARD-EDGE ABSTRACTION

ELLSWORTH KELLY, hard edge art legend

Ellsworth Kelly’s earliest works of art were created in service to the United States, as part of a special camouflage unit in France during World War II. Kelly and his fellow artist-soldiers were tasked with fooling the Germans—using rubber and wood to construct fake tanks and trucks—into thinking the multitudes of Allied troops on the battlefield were much larger than reality. While this seems an unconventional early training for an artist, it proved a fitting one for Kelly.

“He was able to understand that there were these realities that for most of us are camouflaged,” says Virginia Mecklenburg, chief curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “He would evoke those realities—a distinct feel of gravity, or the physics of weight and momentum that we rarely think about in tangible terms. He was able to get that across.” Continue reading ELLSWORTH KELLY, hard edge art legend

John McLaughlin: West Coast Hard-Edge Abstraction Pt5

John McLaughlin came to painting relatively late in life and was self-taught.  While a few of his earliest paintings were still lives and landscapes, the remainder of McLaughlin’s work were abstracts. His work was characterized by simple and precise geometric forms, and from 1952 onwards, McLaughlin removed all curves from his work. A deep interest in Japan and Buddhist thought informed his strictly geometric paintings with what he termed “neutral structures.”  Continue reading John McLaughlin: West Coast Hard-Edge Abstraction Pt5

Lorser Feitelson, West Coast Hard-Edge Abstraction, Pt4

 

Lorser Feitelson, along with his wife Helen Lundeberg, were pioneers of what was to become known as Hard-Edge abstraction in the late 1940s into the 50’s.  Lorser, along with his peers and fellow artists, Karl BenjaminFrederick Hammersley and John McLaughlin were featured in the landmark exhibition, Four Abstract Classicists at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1959.  Jules Langsner, critic, psychiatrist and organizer of the exhibition coined the term “hard-edge” in his essay for the exhibition’s catalogue:

“Abstract Classicist painting is hard-edged painting. Forms are finite, flat, rimmed by a hard clean edge. These forms are not intended to evoke in the spectator any recollections of specific shapes he may have encountered in some other connection. They are autonomous shapes, sufficient unto themselves as shapes.” Continue reading Lorser Feitelson, West Coast Hard-Edge Abstraction, Pt4

Frederick Hammersley: West Coast Hard Edge Abstraction, Pt3

Frederick Hammersley was perhaps the most critically acclaimed of the first generation west coast hard-edge painters.  Having been one of the four participants in the landmark Four Abstract Classicists exhibition in 1959, his place within the history of the art movement was firmly established.  The show’s organizer,  Jules Langsner coined the term “hard edge” in his essay for the catalogue: Continue reading Frederick Hammersley: West Coast Hard Edge Abstraction, Pt3

Karl Benjamin: West Coast Hard Edge Abstraction, Pt2

 

Chicago native Karl Benjamin found his way to California to go to college on the G.I.Bill after serving in the Navy during World War II.  With no formal education in art, Benjamin who was an elementary teacher, began working with crayons in the course of developing art lessons for his students’ curriculum. He became enthralled with the way in which colors appeared to change when in juxtaposition with other colors and enrolled in classes at Claremont Graduate School, ultimately earning an M.A. degree in 1960 and developing a serious art practice as a painter who worked rigorously with color.

‘His principal started it all by asking him to add 47 minutes a week of art instruction to the curriculum.“I bought some crayons and paper,” he said. “And the kids drew trucks, trees, mountains. That was boring, so I said, No trucks, no trees. And they said, What should we do? I said the right thing, even though I didn’t have any background in art. I said, Be quiet and concentrate.” – Jori Finkel, Karl Benjamin’s Colorful Resurgence, New York Times, October 7, 2007 Continue reading Karl Benjamin: West Coast Hard Edge Abstraction, Pt2

Helen Lundeberg: West Coast Hard Edge Abstraction, Pt1

West Coast (Los Angeles) painter Helen Lundeberg (1908-1999) turned to abstraction in the 1950’s after having spent the two previous decades working in social realist and post-surrealist styles of imagemaking. Her precise compositions with their restricted palettes hovered between abstraction and figuration, but always remained rooted in reality, referring  to still lifes, landscapes, planetary forms and architecture.

“I was interested both in the pattern and the three-dimensional illusion created by these very flat geometric forms. At first I confined myself to angles and straight lines. Then I got a little tired of that and began getting some curves.” -Helen Lundeberg

Helen Lundeberg’s paintings have been exhibited widely in prominent museums, including the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art at Utah State University and the National Museum of American Art in Washington D.C. Her work was most recently included in the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950–1970, and in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition titled In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States.wikipedia