Hard Edge

Forms are definite, flat, and have a crisp, hard edge around them. These shapes are not meant to bring up any memories of particular shapes the viewer may have seen in another context. They are independent shapes that are adequate in and of themselves. A lot of artists also preferred Barnett Newman’s expansive color fields over the shallow, post-Cubist space found in Willem de Kooning’s work. Hard-edge paintings are characterized by their simplicity of design, richness of color, impersonal workmanship, and flat surface planes. Although the movement later went by the name “California hard-edge” and these four artists came to be associated with it, the phrase “hard-edge abstraction” refers to a classical departure from the romanticism of Abstract Expressionism.

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