The paintings of 1967-1969 are composed of broad diagonal bands of color whose edges bleed and overlap. These interlocking edges reinforce the sense of atmosphere and flow created by the loosened texture of the paint itself. The colored bands progress from darker to lighter in closely keyed shades of tans, browns and yellows. These paintings are large, horizontal rectangles, roughly twice as long as they are high. Diagonal stripes or beams of color scan the surface like searchlight beacons. These beams of varying widths and transparencies are superimposed to create dense, random lattices or cross-hatchings of color which engage the entire surface of the canvas equally, since they seem to imply continuation beyond the canvas rim. The colors partake of the brilliance and transparency of natural light. They are lush in hue (aquas, golds, magentas, browns, deep reds) and lavish in variety. Each picture is composed of approximately equal distributions of from 4 – 7 colors. The interpenetration of the stripes permits each stripe of a single color to undergo maximum variation in both hue and transparency as it covers, and is covered by, other stripes. Color itself now creates shapes rather than being contained by a predetermined or pre-drawn shape. There is no sense of drawing, since the color is applied with rollers or large brushes and stains into the canvas to make its own unpredictable edge. Because each streak of color may run, spread or bleed at the edges and pool or blot anywhere, there is a minimal sense of the stripe as figure or as a geometric structure.
-Alexandra C. Anderson, Artforum Magazine, January 1969
Series: NY Times reporter Roberta Smith writes in the obituary published in 2007 that “Edward Avedisian helped establish the hotly colored, but emotionally cool, abstract painting that succeeded Abstract Expressionism in the early 1960s. This young luminary harnessed elements of minimalism, pop, and color field painting to create prominent works of epic proportions that energized the New York art scene of the time.
Image rights: Carrie Haddad Gallery
About Edward Avedisian
American, 1936-2007, Lowell, MA, United States, based in New York City, NY, United States