Category Archives: Absract Expressionists

How the Father of Abstract Expressionism Forsook Fame to Pursue Art

Have you ever heard of Clyfford Still? Many modern-day art lovers have not. The irony in this is that Clyfford Still was and is incredibly influential to the art world. In fact, Still, who was born in 1904 and died in 1980, was one of the pioneers of abstract expressionism.

Still’s early pieces (from the 1930’s), which depicted farmhands during the Great Depression, give a nod to Alberta, Canada and Washington State, the locations he was raised in. In the following decade or so, Still’s work began to take on a more abstract shape. It would be later in his career that Clyfford Still would help father the movement of abstract expressionism.

The young artist spent some time in California, then moved to New York City, a place where other would-be abstract artists, such as Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning, lived. While Still shared some commonalities with these artists, his artwork was decidedly unique and strayed from geometric shapes.

People had begun to take notice of Still around 1951, but by then he had chosen to separate himself from the commercial art world. Still was certainly not forsaking his art by doing this, but rather devoting himself wholly to it by distancing himself from distractions. This noble decision was probably one that prevented Clyfford Still from becoming widely well known.

After relocating to Maryland in 1961, Still consistently produced painted artwork on canvases and pastel drawings. He did all of this independently of the commercial sector of the world of art.

While in the past Still has been somewhat obscure, the opening of The Clyfford Still museum in Denver, CO, might change all of that. The museum shows only a portion of Still’s pieces of art, which are “considered the most intact body of work of any major artist.” Even more of Still’s works are being uncovered as curators discover pieces from his farmhouse. As this man’s collections are viewed by more and more people, it is likely that recognition of him and his contributions to art will increase.

Is fame necessary to validate an artist’s brilliance? Clyfford Still’s life proved that the answer to this question is no. Still was truly devoted to art and obviously cared little for the accolades of man. But while Clyfford Still didn’t receive all the praise he deserved on this earth, his life is beginning to speak in increasing volumes to a new generation of artists.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/09/living/artist-clyfford-still-profile/index.html?iphoneemail

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Do Colors Change What is Beautiful

What is beautiful? The term is a bit subjective, don’t you think? After all, isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder?

It most certainly is, but one undeniable quality about color is its ability to make all things beautiful!

This is why color-field painting, with its abstract merging of vivid colors, is responsible for some beautiful works of art. In this post we will look at how color-field painting evokes emotions and has the ability to change an environment.

By now we know how color impacts art and also stirs emotion in people. Recent posts discuss color therapy, known as chromotherapy and the psychology of color, offering insight into how color can impact an individual. As artists, we know the emotional impact art can have on us. Vivid colors can stir emotions and hold an observers heart once they pass.

Sometimes, color makes beautiful what was not beautiful before. This is the case of color-field painting; color, shape, composition, proportion, balance, style, and scale change a blank canvas into a brilliant work of art.

This style of art is very abstract and those who are best known for its development are considered Abstract Expressionists. Color-field painting emerged in New York in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. It was a type of art inspired by European modernism and made popular by artists like Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman.

What sets color-field painting apart from other types of abstract art is the artist’s regard for paint. With the main focus being color, shape, composition, proportion, balance, style, and scale, there is less emphasis on gesture, brushstrokes and consistent actions that create form and process. In fact, the entire work of art is created by the artist who determines what elements he or she will add to convey a sense of place, atmosphere, or environment. In other words, what makes color-field painting beautiful, is its subjectivity.

Like most art, the beauty of color-field painting is in the eye of the beholder. These colorful pieces are nice accents for decoration and fun to paint too! But don’t let the look of simplicity fool you. This style is not easy to perfect and contrary to how it appears, cannot be replicated by a 6 year old!

Have you splashed your art palette with color today? Try it and see how color changes what you see as beautiful.

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