In the years following World War II, many artists experimented by pouring, dripping or thickly dabbing wet paint onto blank canvases. Prioritizing the act of painting over the final product, they created abstract works where we see traces of techniques as opposed to traditional subjects. These artists took their lead from Jackson Pollock, famous for his drip paintings, and from Helen Frankenthaler, who poured paint onto raw canvas and then took to her tools to produce washes of color. As Frankenthaler said: “There are no rules, let the picture lead you where it must go.”
In opposition to those influences, there was another group of abstract artists who produced works that made the artist’s hand or physical activity mostly disappear. These paintings, sculptures and prints first appear to be colorful exercises in geometry, however, through our perspective as viewers, they yield illusions or even distorting effects that provide a fascinating viewing experience.
Catch Perception and Technique in Abstract Art at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art now through July 24, 2022.
Image Credit: The Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Artist Credit: Sam Francis, Untitled, 1986. Acrylic on canvas, 96 x 84 in. Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Museum purchase with Fred Jones/Jerome Westheimer and Friends Acquisition Funds, 1987.012
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