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.

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…

The Interesting Life and Works of Josef Albers: A Biography
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The Interesting Life and Works of Josef Albers: A Biography

Once in every generation, there comes an intellectual who defines that generation. The great Josef Albers undoubtedly falls into this category for his outstanding contributions to the world of art, colors, and flamboyance. The influence he had in the 20th century still reverberates through the art world to this day. Josef Albers was not just…

Greg Chann – Artist of abstraction
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Greg Chann – Artist of abstraction

Hi Greg, what do you do? I’ve been loving and making art for the majority of my life. When did you get interested in art? Since a child I’ve always preferred using my hands and building things. Is the current corona pandemic affecting your work? Since the pandemic invaded us I’ve been able to spend…

Curtains01273 – Colours, crossfaders, beeps and shapes
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Curtains01273 – Colours, crossfaders, beeps and shapes

Hi! Who is Curtains01273? My earth name is Justin (Curtains01273). I’m 51 years old and a self taught artist. I start with a blank canvas, a blank mind and just see what happens. It’s a journey into the unknown. How old were you when you started painting? I started my art 8 years ago when…

Q&A with Colombian painter Ivette Bassan
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Q&A with Colombian painter Ivette Bassan

Hello Ivette, please tell us who you are I am a highly intuitive artist who loves straight lines, patterns, blocks, rhythm and colors in particular. I am influenced by architectural patterns and graphics. Painting is part of my being; it gives my life sense and happiness. When did you start painting? I started painting on…

Ji Young Yoon’s architectural art plays with light
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Ji Young Yoon’s architectural art plays with light

Hi! Please tell us something about your life before you became a painter I took a winding road to becoming a painter. Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where I finished high school before earning my bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa…

Patrick Bulla – Teacher by day, art dealer by night
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Patrick Bulla – Teacher by day, art dealer by night

Hi Patrick, please tell us what you do By day, I teach World History (using a lot of art!) and Psychology in a high school; by night, I buy, sell, and collect art. What began over thirty years ago as a side hobby has evolved into a passion that is now a major part of…