Hard edges painting (from the English hard edge) is the direction of abstract painting of the 2nd half of the 20th century, in which color spots are separated by hard borders. This style is associated with geometric abstraction, post-painting abstraction and color field painting. The term was proposed by the writer, curator and art critic of the Los Angeles Times, Jules Langsner (English) in 1958. Although this definition could be applied to such areas as purism, more often by painting rigid contours they mean the type of painting that arose as a reaction to the spontaneity and pictorial technique of abstract expressionism.
The largest representatives of this direction are Ellsworth Kelly and Kenneth Noland. Also, the painting of hard contours includes the early works of Joseph Alberts and Pete Mondrian.
In the late 1950s, Langsner and Peter Selz, later Professor Claremont Colleges, noticed similarities in the works of John McLaughlin, Lorser Feitelson, Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley and Helen Lundeberg. Continue reading