Sep 27, 2011

TREND | Hard Edge Abstraction, Beyond the Square

Grant Wiggins Vertical Waveforms A 2011

Hard edged painting has traditionally been done using multiple types of skewed squares and rectangles, following the styles of Piet Modrian and later artists such as Josef Albers. Lately many artists have taken the hard edged painting method and smoothed out the edges to create paintings that flow and have movement but still hold true to the colorful beginnings of the style, taking to an extreme what Ellsworth Kelly had been doing some 50 to 60 years ago.

I myself am a hard edge painter and am always looking for new things to try that peak my interest and I have yet to try this loose style though it seems like an intriguing concept that needs to be explored.

The image above is entitled
"Vertical Waveforms A" and was made by Grant Wiggins. I came across his work while doing research for this blog and it caught my eye. I haven't seen many hard edged painters working in such a fluid way and still have the colors interact in such a pleasing way. Upon seeing some of his images I searched for his website and found more of these beautiful waveforms and some other work of his pertaining to this style that has some very nice color matches which I am very fond of. His painting entitled "Meltdown" really caught my attention with its color pallet. The combination of colors in the work is very eye catching and pleasant to look at with a very pastel blue that is appearing to be devouring the other colors which is also an interesting concept to me.
Barry Allikas Heart Throb 2008

Another artist I came across was the work of Barry Allikas. This image is of Allikas' 2008 work entitled "Hearth Throb" and seems to be an interesting turn for hard edge painters to take; that being an approach that comes off as spastic and somewhat scribble-like. Though the color pallet for this piece is slightly few it is very reminiscent of earlier painters such as Ellsworth Kelly and Mark Rothko who also used few colors in their works.Though there are only 2 colors in this work they do clash together in a good way. The crisp, clean edges of these canvas' are what I pine for and try to recreate every time I make a work, and every time I take the tape off I feel like I'm opening a present and I can only hope that these artists feel the same way. "Heart Throb" takes a very new and exciting turn in hard edged painting that i hope to see much much more of in the future.
Nick Hazzard Entrapment 4 

Lastly I found an artist named Nick Hazzard. His work is nothing short of beautiful. They contain these perfect geometric forms that that are "activated or disrupted," as he says in his artist statement that I found here, by gestural lines that create this wonderful-to-look-at image. He also states in his artist statement that "the way the colors interact is important;" which is very true as this is what hard edge painters are mainly trying to tell their viewers. This image he created is entitled "Entrapment 4" and very clearly shows his style that uses these color combinations that seem almost poured onto, and very may well be, the canvas as to create this wonderful mixture that appears to dance before my eyes and reminds me of some of Andy Warhols screen prints.

The raw beauty of simple colors intrigues me and seeing this new way of depicting them has motivated me to try harder. Art doesn't have to have meaning. It can simply be and be beautiful.
- Josh Seaton

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