NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale will unveil “Glory of the World: Color Field Painting (1950s to 1983),” on view November 21 through June. The exhibition explores Color Field painting, the employment of vast areas of color as the dominating force in mid-twentieth century American abstract painting. Although this type of painting was prefigured in the work of previous generations of abstract painters, such as Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko, it is identified with such artists as Frank Bowling, Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Gilliam, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons, Frank Stella, and Alma Thomas.
Color Field painting was among several American art movements that emerged in the early 1960s, including Pop Art, Minimalism, Op Art, Photorealism, hard-edge abstraction, and the Black Arts Movement. Each artist approached their process from a distinct perspective, while maintaining an awareness of each other’s innovations.
The title “Glory of the World” is inspired by Frank Stella’s writings on Hans Hofmann’s abstract painting Gloriamundi (1963): “Hofmann proved that the straightforward manipulation of pigment can create exalted art…Glory of the world this painting surely is and glory of the world his painting surely was and is.” Like Hofmann, the monumental color field paintings in this exhibition arouse a sense of wonder and discovery.
The selection of paintings draws from the earlier years of Color Field, with Frankenthaler’s 1950s large stain paintings, and ends 1983 when post-modern and imagist painters began to dominate the art scene. The exhibition was curated by Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater, with support provided by Suzi and David Cordish, Stephanie and Howard Krass, and the Taylor-Bryant Fund at the Community Foundation of Broward.
For more information, visit nsuartmuseum.org.