74 x 112 inches, acrylic on unstretched canvas
Genuine Abstract Color-Field painting circa 1968 by Edward Avedisian.
Armenian-American artist, Avedisian was best known for his work made in New York City during the 1960s: brilliantly colored, boldly composed canvases that combined Minimalism’s rigor, Pop’s exuberance and the saturated tones of Color Field painting. He was largely recognized for a series of Beach Ball paintings that emerged in the early 1960's and into the later 1960's the artist began painting larger horizontal paintings, featuring vertically intersecting beacon-like stripes that highlighted characteristics from both the Post-Painterly and Color Field movements.
Pictured here is a prominent example of Avedesian's large, rectangular colored stripe paintings made in the later 1960's. Diagonal, beacon-like stripes in dark purple, indigo, deep mulberry intersect and engage with a solid background of lavender. The color beams, applied to the spanning canvas with large brushes or wide rollers, varying in size and transparencies. Each color stripe is painted directly onto the next, fading the definition between foreground and background. Lush in color (purples and deep blue-reds) and opulent in variety, the interpenetration of the stripes permits each color to undergo a maximum variation in both hue and transparency as it covers, and is covered by, other stripes. There is no evidence of painterly brushstrokes as each stripe is applied with large brushes or rollers onto a water soaked, unprimed canvas, therefore allowing the color to bleed and spread organically at the edges. Stripes act more as veil-like streaks rather than solid geometric lines, further creating an atmospheric space where color planes collide in harmonious juxtaposition.
One painting from Avedesian's color-stripe series was featured on the cover of Artforum's January 1969 issue (pictured here). Also pictured are photographs of the artist c. 1970 in his studio in New York City & catalog pages from Avedisian's inclusion in the American Painting Now Expo at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, MA in Dec 1967 - Jan 1968. The exhibition, organized by art critic Alan Solomon, featured one of Avedisian's signature Beach Ball paintings alongside large works by Robert Motherwell and Jim Rosenquist.
About the Artist:
In the 1960’s, Edward Avedisian was one of the youngest of those luminaries producing a grand new abstract painting. Shown first at Ivan Karp and Dick Bellamy’s Hansa Gallery and then at Robert Elkon, Avedisian’s insouciant mix of pop playfulness, color field cool and high formalist style put his art in a unique, and at the time generously rewarded, position. Paintings made it onto the cover of Artforum, were purchased by all the major museums, were among the few abstract works shown as representative of America’s post-war achievement at Expo 67 in Montreal and comprised a cornerstone in histories of the period written by Barbara Rose, among others. The artist was largely influenced by his Color-Field predecessors, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. Throughout the 1960's and into the mid 1970's the artist was celebrated in the Manhattan art scene, contributing to the Post-Painterly Abstraction movements with contemporaries Helen Frankenthaler, Andy Warhol, Jules Olitski, and Larry Poons.
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
Brooklyn Museum, New York
Chrysler Art Museum, Norfolk, Virginia
Denver Art Museum, Colorado
Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan
Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas
The Larry Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts
Neuberger Museum of Art, State University of New York, Purchase
Los Angeles County Museum, California
Neuberger Museum, SUNY, Purchase, New York
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
*above description text is supported by Alexandra C. Anderson's article on Edward Avedesian in Artforum's January 1969 issue.
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