Friday, September 26, 2014

Modern Art (pt. 14)

Color field painting is maybe the most abstract of Modern Art subgenres.  Richard Diebenkorn adopted this style after first practicing on aerial landscape paintings during his early artistic career.  Inasmuch as the American farmland countryside, viewed from the air, appears in some areas to be blocks or squares of earth placed along the ground like a puzzle, so the artist viewed painting as the application of certain colors, in varying shapes or geometric "blocks," onto a canvas.  Have not all the paintings we've looked at so far been merely "fields" of colors spread over a flat surface?  Diebenkorn's Ocean Park series (this is No. 28) offers viewers only that and nothing more.  All specifically chosen and placed in deliberate formation, these colors make up an abstract creation that challenges even Abstract Art because it challenges the very makeup of a painting.  The colors here do not form shapes, like in Kandinsky's artwork; here, the colors are the shapes.

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