Styles & Periods

Styles & Periods

Hard-Edge Painting

Hard-Edge painting arose in the 1960s in opposition to figurative and geometrical art and as a reaction to Abstract Expressionism. It is included in the new direction of painting of the 1960s that is generally called Post-Painterly Abstraction. Hard-Edge painting is characterized by its flat, broad fields of color. The forms in Hard-Edge painting are few, and are crisply defined by sharp contours. By reducing the amount of forms in a painting and eliminating the presence of a defined light source, Hard-Edge painters were able to negate depth, object and figure, thereby giving the painting – that is the stretcher and canvas itself – the distinction of being the object. This can be interpreted as total unity of the picture plane. Some of the most successful Hard-Edge painters include Agnes Martin, Ad Reinhardt, Ellsworth Kelly and Kenneth Noland.


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