hard edge:

Hard edge painting can be identified by the influential, simplified, sharp (or “hard”), ordinarily geometric forms spread across a flat surface. This style of abstract painting was popularized in the 1960s.

Closely related to Color Field Painting and Post-painterly abstraction, hard edge painting presents the best of both worlds, which is interesting considering that post-painterly conception developed as a branch of color field painting.

It seamlessly combines the bold, singular forms of Color Field Painting with the uniform arrangement of geometric abstraction.

Although associated with Californian artists at first, the phrase defines a distinct tendency in today’s art as an abstract painting in the United States. Californian critic Jules Langster coined the term “hard edge painting” in the year 1959.

His terminology defined hard edge painting as the work of abstract painters, specifically on America’s West Coast, who adopted a consciously neutral approach to applying paint and used it to showcase a more gestural form of abstract expressionism.

Clean-edge hues danced across the otherwise monochromatic fields and made the flatness of the surface stand out.

For artists, this was a way to break away from the expressive nature of gestural abstraction. Painters eagerly tried to avoid the dense, post-Cubist ideas of Willem de Kooning’s pieces and chose the diverse, open color fields one would see in a work of Barnett Newman.

Here is what drives passionate minds into the world of hard edge painting: It is pretty different from other forms of geometric abstraction. It rejects both mathematical and lyrical composition as, even in a field as simplified like this, artists must have the space to express themselves personally. Call it the anonymous creation of uncomplicated objects.

Hard-edged geometric abstraction is used to describe the works of artists such as Josef Albers. Some notable artists with an extraordinary contribution to hard edge arts include Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, Sam Gilliam, and William T. Williams.

Ditto Jones – Order through form and color
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Ditto Jones – Order through form and color

Good day, Ditto. Who are you? Hi! I’m Ditto! I currently live in Chicago, Illinois and I love filling the world with shapes and colors. How would you explain your art? I would define my style as a ‘geometric mosaic’. All of these seemingly disconnected pieces come together into a sequence that ends up like…

Color explosions by Hard edge painter Kate “Kitty” Lambe
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Color explosions by Hard edge painter Kate “Kitty” Lambe

Hi Kitty, where are you from? Hello! I am originally from Dublin but emigrated to Australia in 2008. I lived in Melbourne for all of that time, but recently relocated to Rye on the Mornington Peninsula where I now work from my rented studio space. How did your artistic career start? I began my artistic…

Artist and art professor Patrick Schmidt
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Artist and art professor Patrick Schmidt

Hi Patrick, please tell us who you are My name is Patrick Schmidt, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (US) based artist. I have an MFA from Central Michigan University and besides being a full-time artist, I also teach at a small liberal arts college (Washington & Jefferson College). I have shown my work from coast to coast…

Los Angeles based painter Andrew Haan in the Spotlight
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Los Angeles based painter Andrew Haan in the Spotlight

Hi Andrew, who are you and where are you from? My name is Andrew Haan and I am an artist/designer living in Los Angeles. Inspired by clean lines, bold colors, geometry, and unique shapes, my work is a direct representation of me. My form of expression. An outlet. My work comes from a necessity to…

Geometric poetry by KNÖ-REI
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Geometric poetry by KNÖ-REI

Hi KNÖ-REI, please introduce yourself Hello, I am a visual artist from Germany. Influenced by interior architecture, design and the famous Bauhaus, I love geometrical implementations and the world of colors. I mainly do my work in acrylic painting, but I also work with linocut stamp prints. My preferred topics are penetration and demarcation, dynamics…

Op artist Mark Vogel explores the interaction of color, line, and form
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Op artist Mark Vogel explores the interaction of color, line, and form

Welcome Mark, what are you doing? I am exploring the many ways to create visually stunning imagery in the Op Art genre. I find great joy in exploring the interaction of color, how colors can impart the impression of motion and depth, and how colors can evoke unique memories in each of us. What do…

Melbourne based geometric artist Anna Cole
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Melbourne based geometric artist Anna Cole

Hello Anna, who are you? Hello, My name is Anna Cole and i am an artist based in Melbourne, Australia. What made you decide to pursue art? I started painting about 10 years ago and was recruited to an agency nearby, 4 years ago. I started painting to help with my severe depression and anxiety…

Painter Kerime Elibuyuk is a story engineer
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Painter Kerime Elibuyuk is a story engineer

Hello Kerime! Who are you and what do you do? I am a full-time, self-taught artist based in Istanbul. I am trying to show the effect of human beings on nature by combining natural color transitions with hard-edge man-made geometric shapes. And I am doing this by making both traditional and digital art. What was…

Jack MacRae – Hard edge landscapes and colorfield paintings
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Jack MacRae – Hard edge landscapes and colorfield paintings

Hello Jack, please introduce yourself My name is Jack MacRae, from the Sunshine Coast Australia. I like hard edges, architecture and techno. I primarily work in colourfield and hard edge paintings and hand cut paper collages. Your art and you – how did it all start? I started making collages after studying about Peter Eisenman…

Vetro Artes works on impossible objects
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Vetro Artes works on impossible objects

Hi Vetro Artes! Who are you and what do you do? I’m a Brazilian Visual Artist who loves geometric abstraction and op art, influenced by MC Escher, Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley. Was there a specific reason for you to start painting? I started making art as a teenager to ease my anxiety issues. And…

Kalkov transforms boring facades into expressive geometric paintings
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Kalkov transforms boring facades into expressive geometric paintings

Hi! Hello! My name is Kalkov! Kalkov, please give us some insight into your art career I wanted to be an artist since I was a child. I first studied at a children’s art school, and later received a diploma as a mural painter from an educational institution. What is your most important project at…

Arnaud Loumeau: Geometric op art created behind closed doors
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Arnaud Loumeau: Geometric op art created behind closed doors

Hi Arnaud, please introduce yourself I’m a 43 year old artist, I have glasses, a mustache, some white hair and I live in France. I was born in the suburbs where I had a difficult education. As a child, I already did drawings and music in local groups. Today I live in southern France to…

Zeljka Paic combines architecture and geometric forms in her paintings
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Zeljka Paic combines architecture and geometric forms in her paintings

Hello Zeljka, please tell us who you are I am a full-time artist inspired by geometry, architecture and nature. I am a graduate of both the Academy of Fine Arts (2015) and Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering (2011). When did you know that you wanted to dedicate yourself to art professionally? I attended art…

Sam Williams – Geometric minimalism for your free interpretation
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Sam Williams – Geometric minimalism for your free interpretation

Hello! Please introduce yourself Hi, I’m Sam. I’m a self taught emerging artist from Bath, England. I’m a Pharmaceutical Science graduate but decided to change career and pursue art full time. I produce hard-edge paintings on canvas from my small studio just outside this beautiful city. My work is minimal and reductive, and I aim…