1960s artists freed their paintings from the rectangle that replicated one's field of vision. The canvas shape became one more choice in their creative process. Lawrence Alloway's 1964 exhibition The Shaped Canvas at the Guggenheim brought attention to this movement.
D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc. is pleased to present The Shaped Canvas Movement, an exhibition of 1960s paintings by ten Hard-Edge artists: Charles Hinman (b.1932), Sven Lukin (b.1934), Neil Williams (1934-1988), Thomas Downing (1928-1985), Paul Reed (1919-2015), Al Loving (1935-2005), Alexander Liberman (1912-1999), Francis Celentano (1928-2016), Theo Hios (1908-1998), and Ralph Iwamoto (1927-2013). By the 1960s abstraction was firmly rooted in American art and the rectangular canvas that replicates the viewer’s field of vision was no longer necessary. The artists in our exhibition saw the shape and depth of their canvas as one more choice in their creative process, presenting color and form in a balanced and exciting new way. Lawrence Alloway brought attention to this movement in his Guggenheim Museum exhibition The Shaped Canvas (December 1964-January 1965). To provide context for the development of the shaped canvas, we introduce the exhibition with a selection of constructions and collages by 1930s pioneering American abstract artists Charles Biederman (1906-2004), Gertrude Greene (1904-1956), and Charles Green Shaw (1892-1974). Faced with the challenge of developing an abstract language, they used collage in their preparatory work to allow quick adjustments to their compositions. This led them to consider how this additive process could apply to their painting, resulting in constructions of painted wood and other materials. The exhibition also includes a rare 1943 trapezoid-shaped painting on vellum by Irene Rice Pereira (1902-1971). This symbolic Self-Portrait demonstrates Pereira’s inventive thinking on materials and formats to convey time and depth in her art. The developments of these 1930s artists broadened the definition of a painting and paved the way for the shaped canvas artists of the 1960s. The exhibition is on view through May 3, 2019.