Hard-edge Painting

frederick hammersley

Hard-edge painting is painting in which abrupt transitions are found between color areas. The style is related to Geometric abstraction, Op Art, Post-painterly Abstraction, and Color Field painting. The term was coined by writer, curator and ‘LA Times’ art critic Jules Langsner, along with art historian Peter Selz, in 1959, to describe the work of painters from California, who, in their reaction to the more painterly or gestural forms of Abstract expressionism, adopted a knowingly impersonal paint application and delineated areas of color with particular sharpness and clarity.

This approach to abstract painting became widespread in the 1960s, though California was its creative center. Curated by Langsner, ‘Four Abstract Classicists’ opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1959 featuring Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley, and John McLaughlin. Other, earlier, movements, or styles have also contained the quality of hard-edgedness, for instance the Precisionists also displayed this quality to a great degree in their work.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.