Top 25 Color field artists who changed its history

In the United States, a form of abstract painting known as “Colour Field painting” first appeared in the 1940s and 1950s.  Large expanses of colour, with little to no discernible brushwork or other characteristics, define the style.

Instead of using realistic imagery or narrative content, colour field artists aimed to emphasise on form and colour in their works. Large canvases were employed, and paint was either poured or stained over the surface to create fields of colour that were meant to be experienced as pure sensation.

Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, and Morris Louis are some of the best-known Colour Field artists. These artists were fascinated by the psychological effects of colour and worked hard to produce pieces that would arouse powerful emotions in the viewer.

1. Mark Rothko

Color field artists

Born: 25 September 1903, Daugavpils, Latvia

Died: 25 February 1970, New York, New York, United States

Children: Kate Rothko, Christopher Rothko

Parents: Jacob Rothkowitz, Kate Goldin Rothkowitz

Siblings: Sonia Allen, Albert Roth, Moise Roth

  • Mark Rothko was an American abstract artist of Latvian Jewish descent.
  • He is most famous for his color field painting that depicted uneven and painterly rectangular areas of color. They were created from 1949 until 1970.
  • Rothko later relocated to New York City, where his early years of artistic production were primarily focused on urban scenes.
  • In the later part of his career, Rothko executed several canvases for three murals.
  • The father of the family was a pharmacist and an intellectual who started the children of his family with secular and political and not religious schooling.

 


2. Helen Frankenthaler

Color field artists

Born: 12 December 1928, Manhattan, New York, United States

Died: 27 December 2011, Darien, Connecticut, United States

Parents: Alfred Frankenthaler, Martha Lowenstein

  • Helen Frankenthaler was an American abstract expressionist artist.
  • She was a significant influencer in the history of postwar American painting.
  • She was featured in the 1964 post-painting Abstraction exhibition, which was curated by Clement Greenberg.
  • The work of the artist has also been featured in numerous retrospective exhibits, including an exhibition in 1989 in the Museum of Modern Art.
  • Frankenthaler owned a house as well as a studio located in Darien.

 


3. Barnett Newman

Color field artists

Born: 29 January 1905, New York, New York, United States

Died: 4 July 1970, New York, New York, United States

Parents: Abraham Newman, Anna Newman

Spouse: Annalee Newman (m. 1936)

  • Barnett Newman was an American artist from the United States. He is considered to be one of the main abstract expressionism artists and one of the greatest artists of color fields artists.
  • Barnett Newman was born in New York City, the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland.
  • He was a philosopher at the City College of New York and worked for the clothing manufacturing business of his father.

 


4. Kenneth Noland

Color field artists

Born: 10 April 1924, Asheville, North Carolina, United States

Died: 5 January 2010, Port Clyde, Saint George, Maine, United States

Artworks: Gift, Drought, Another Line, Trans Shift, Turnsole, TRANS FLUX, Tropical Zone, The Broken Ring

  • Kenneth Noland was an American painter from the United States.
  • He was among the most famous American Color Field painters
  • Son of Harry Caswell Noland (1896-1975), an anthropologist, and Bessie, his spouse. Bessie (1897-1980), Kenneth Clifton Noland was born in Asheville, North Carolina.
  • Between 1948 and 1949, Noland collaborated alongside Ossip Zadkine in Paris and held the first show of his artwork there in the year 1949.
  • As opposed to painting canvas using the brush, Noland’s method was to paint the canvas by using color.

 


5. Morris Louis

Color field artists

Born: 28 November 1912, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Died: 7 September 1962, Washington, D.C., United States

Education: Maryland Institute College of Art

Known for: Painting

  • Morris Louis Bernstein was an American painter from the United States.
  • Louis was employed in a variety of odd jobs to earn money as a painter, and in 1935, he became the president of the Baltimore Artists’ Organization.
  • He returned to his hometown of Baltimore in 1940 to teach privately.
  • The majority of Color Field artists were concerned with the traditional problems of pictorial space as well as its flatness.
  • The year 1954 was when Louis made his final Vessel Paintings, and they were distinguished by their overlapping.

 


6. Anthony Abdel Karim

Color field artists

Born: 19 July 1998 (age 24 years), Beirut, Lebanon

Parents: Elie Abdel Karim, Linda Serianni

 


7. Jules Olitski

Color field artists

Born: 27 March 1922, Snovsk, Ukraine

Died: 4 February 2007, New York, New York, United States

Artworks: Instant Loveland, Mojo Working, Born in Snovsk, MORE

Spouse: Joan Olitski (m. 1980–2007), Andrea Olitski, Gladys Katz

  • Jewel Demikovski was an American painter, printmaker and sculptor.
  • Olitski was born Jevel Demikovsky in Snovsk.
  • His grandmother took care of the child while his mother was working to provide for the family.
  • Olitski displayed a talent for drawing and by the year 1935, was attending art classes on occasion in Manhattan.
  • Olitski demonstrated a talent for drawing and by the year 1935, was attending art classes on occasion in Manhattan.

 


8. Clyfford Still

Color field artists

Born: 30 November 1904, Grandin, North Dakota, United States

Died: 23 June 1980, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Artworks: PH-164, PH-969, PH-436, PH-945, PH-247, PH-623, PH-77, PH-261, PP-241

Children: Sandra Still Campbell, Diane Still Knox

Education: Spokane University, Washington State University

Known for: Painting

  • Olitski displayed a talent for drawing and, by the year 1935, was attending art classes on occasion in Manhattan.
  • Still Born in 1904, he was from Grandin, North Dakota, and spent his early years living in Spokane, Washington.
  • In 1925, he visited New York, briefly studying at the Art Students League.
  • He was at Spokane University from 1926 to 1927 and then returned in 1931 on the fellowship. He graduated in 1933.

 


9. Frank Stella

Color field artists

Born: 12 May 1936 (age 86 years), Malden, Massachusetts, United States

Periods: Contemporary art, Minimalism, Modern art, MORE

Children: Patrick Stella, Peter Stella, Michael Stella, Rachel Stella

Spouse: Harriet McGurk (m. 1978), Barbara Rose (m. 1961–1969)

  • Frank Philip Stella is an American artist, sculptor and printmaker who is renowned as an artist in the realms of post-painterly abstraction as well as minimalism.
  • Stella lives and is employed and works in New York City.
  • Frank Stella was born in Malden, Massachusetts.
  • He is praised for his abstract paintings that lack illusions of color.
  • In the 1970s, he was a resident of NoHo located in Manhattan located in New York City.
  • It was a departure from the method of creating paintings by making sketches.

 


10. Ellsworth Kelly

Color field artists

Born: 31 May 1923, Newburgh, New York, United States

Died: 27 December 2015, Spencertown, New York, United States

Award: Praemium Imperiale

Parents: Florence Bithens Kelly, Allan Howe Kelly

Siblings: David Kelly

  • Ellsworth Kelly was an American artist, sculptor, and printmaker who was associated with hard-edge painting, Color Field painting and minimalism.
  • He was a resident and worker for a time in Spencertown, New York.
  • The father of his son was an executive at an insurance company of Scots-Irish as well as German descendants.
  • Her mother worked as a teacher from Welsh as well as Pennsylvania German stock.
  • His family relocated out of Newburgh and moved to Oradell, New Jersey, which was home to nearly 7,500 residents.

 


11. Robert Motherwell

Color field artists

Born: 24 January 1915, Aberdeen, Washington, United States

Died: 16 July 1991, Provincetown, Massachusetts, United States

Education: Stanford University, Harvard, Columbia University

Children: Jeannie Motherwell, Lise Motherwell

  • Robert Motherwell was an American abstract expressionist painter, printmaker and editor.
  • He was among the youngest pupils of his generation of New York School, which also included Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock as well as Mark Rothko.
  • He was well-known for his abstract prints and abstract paintings.
  • The family moved later to San Francisco, where Motherwell’s father was the president of Wells Fargo Bank.
  • When he was twenty, Motherwell went on a major tour across Europe along with his parents and sister.

 


12. Gene Davis

Color field artists

Born: 22 August 1920, Washington, D.C., United States

Died: 6 April 1985, Washington, D.C., United States

Known for: Painting

Movement: Washington Color School, Color Field painting, Post-painterly Abstraction

  • Gene Davis was an American Color Field painter known particularly for his work depicting horizontal stripes.
  • Davis was born in Washington, D.C., in 1920 and lived the majority of his life in Washington, D.C.
  • Before he began painting at the age of 49, he had a job as a sportswriter, writing about his coverage of the Washington Football Team and other local teams.
  • Davis’s first solo show of drawings took place on display at The Dupont Theater Gallery in 1952.
  • The Washington painter is among the top and most famous mid-century color field painters.

 


13. Adolph Gottlieb

Color field artists

Born: 14 March 1903, New York, New York, United States

Died: 4 March 1974, New York, New York, United States

Artworks: Pictograph, Blues, Vigil, The Seer, Crimson Spinning, Voyager’s Return, Blast, I, Sun Deck

  • Adolph Gottlieb was an American abstract expressionist artist, sculptor, and printmaker.
  • Adolph Gottlieb, a member of the “first generation” of Abstract Expressionists, was born in New York in 1903 to Jewish parents.
  • He was in Paris for six months, during which time he went to the Louvre Museum each day.
  • Gottlieb was the first artist to have a solo show on display at The Dudensing Galleries in New York City in 1930.
  • From September 1937 until the end of June 1937, Gottlieb resided in his home in the Arizona desert.

 


14. Giovanni Morassutti

Color field artists

Born: 15 March 1980 (age 42 years), Padua, Italy

Known for: Acting, Painting, Writing

Residence: Berlin, Germany

Parents: Benedetto Morassutti, Sabine Piwko

Siblings: Sofia Morassutti

  • Most famously, he is famous for his work in advancing the study of the Strasberg Method HTML0and for his participation in sustainability in the arts.
  • Giovanni Morassutti is the son of a German mother as well as an Italian father.
  • He first became attracted to acting and directing in high school. It was during an acting workshop in his town.
  • As a stage actor, He worked with Bryan Reynolds.
  • His final work as a director of the theatre is The production when (2021) as part of Climate Change Theatre Action.

 


15. Friedel Dzubas

Color field artists

Born: 20 April 1915, Berlin, Germany

Died: 10 December 1994, Auburndale, Newton, Massachusetts, United States

  • Friedel Dzubas was born in Germany. He was an American abstract artist.
  • Friedel Dzubas was a student of art in his home country before leaving Nazi Germany in 1939 and settled in New York City.
  • He began showing his Abstract Expressionist paintings around this point.
  • In the 1960s, he connected to Color field painting and Lyrical Abstraction.
  • Dzubas utilized Magna paint, an acrylic paint favored by many of his contemporaries, over oil paint beginning in 1966 and continuing until.

 


16. Jack Bush

Color field artists

Born: 20 March 1909, Toronto, Canada

Died: 24 January 1977, Toronto, Canada

Artworks: Cross Over, Low Sun, Striped Column, Tall Spread

Known for: Abstract Expressionist

  • John Bush was a Canadian abstract artist.
  • Bush was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1909.
  • In his initial years, Bush was influenced by the work of Charles Comfort and the Group of Seven.
  • He began his profession as a landscape painter and concentrated on painting landscapes, and was influenced by the Group of Seven.
  • He also participated in Charles Comfort’s weekly life-model drawing sessions, which were held at Comfort’s home studio located in Toronto.

 


17. Dan Christensen

Color field artists

Born: 6 October 1942, Cozad, Nebraska, United States

Died: 20 January 2007, East Hampton, New York, United States

Known for: Abstract painting

  • Dan Christensenwas an American abstract artist.
  • He has participated in more than 75 solo exhibitions; His work was shown in a myriad of group shows.
  • His work is part of an important collection of museums throughout Europe, the United States and Europe.
  • Dan Christensen was part of a large group of artists in the midst of their careers who had migrated to Manhattan in the 1960s.
  • In the autumn of 1966, Art dealer Richard Bellamy visited the Great Jones Street loft and began to showcase Dan Christensen’s art.

 


18. Richard Diebenkorn

Color field artists

Born: 22 April 1922, Portland, Oregon, United States

Died: 30 March 1993, Berkeley, California, United States

Known for: Painting

Children: Gretchen Diebenkorn Grant

  • Richard Diebenkorn was an American painter and printmaker.
  • Early work by the artist is entwined with abstract expressionism, as well as his involvement in the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Richard Clifford Diebenkorn Jr. was born on 22 April 1922, located in Portland, Oregon.
  • The family relocated to San Francisco, California, when he was just two years old. When he was four or five, he was constantly drawing.

 


19. Ronnie Landfield

Color field artists

Born: 9 January 1947 (age 75 years), The Bronx, New York, United States

  • Landfield is most well-known for his abstract landscapes.
  • Landfield was first displayed at the time of its first exhibition in New York in 1962.
  • Between 1964 and 1966, He experimented with minimalist sculpture, art, and geometric painting with a hard edge.
  • In the latter half of 1966 and 1968, he started exhibiting his works and paintings on paper in prestigious museums and galleries.
  • In 1970, Landfield took part in a three-person exhibition at the time in New York City at the David Whitney Gallery.

 


20. Ray Parker

Color field artists

Born: 22 August 1922, Beresford, South Dakota, United States

Died: 14 April 1990, New York, New York, United States

  • Raymond Parker was an Abstract expressionist artist who was involved in Color Field painting and Lyrical Abstraction.
  • Ray Parker was an influential art teacher and a renowned Color Field painter.
  • His paintings in the 1940s were heavily in the style of cubism.
  • Parker quickly was able to streamline and improve his art, Realizing that his paintings could convey emotion through abstraction and color.
  • He is most famous for his work from the 1950s and 1960s in the latter half of the decade, known as the Basic Paintings.

 


21. William Perehudoff

Color field artists

Born: 21 April 1918, Saskatoon, Canada

Died: 26 February 2013, Saskatoon, Canada

Artworks: Untitled, Orange Nude, AC-88-47

Awards: Order of Canada, Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Patron(s): Fred Mendel

Spouse(s): Dorothy Knowles

  • William Perehudoff was a Canadian artist who was closely associated with painting in color.
  • He was married to Landscape painter Dorothy Knowles.
  • Perehudoff was born at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon.
  • Perehudoff began to get acquainted with Jack Bush at the suggestion of Kenneth Noland in the mid-1960s.

 


22. Larry Zox

Color field artists

Born: 31 May 1937, Des Moines, Iowa, United States

Died: 16 December 2006, Colchester, Connecticut, United States

  • Larry Zox was an American painter and printmaker.
  • Zox is a native of Des Moines.
  • Zox got his education from his home at the University of Oklahoma and Drake University.
  • He was given the Guggenheim Fellowship and received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • The artist’s work has been featured in numerous group and one-person exhibitions, including exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

 


23. Vivian Springford

Color field artists

Born: 31 May 1937, Des Moines, Iowa, United States

Died: 16 December 2006, Colchester, Connecticut, United States

  • Vivian Springford was an American painter and assemblage artist who was active during the second decade of the 20th century.
  • Springford was born in 1913 in Milwaukee.
  • She went to the Spence School with her sister, Margaret, and graduated in 1932.
  • In the 1930s and during the 1930s and 1940s, Springford was employed as an illustrator for commercials and portraits.

 


24. Paul Feeley

Color field artists

Born: 27 July 1910, Des Moines, Iowa, United States

Died: 10 June 1966, New York, New York, United States

Movement: Color Field painting

  • Paul Feeley was an artist and director of the Art Department at Bennington College in the 1950s and the early 1960s.
  • After 1931, Feeley relocated to New York to further his studies.
  • Feeley was also a renowned Color Field painter and at the beginning of the 1960s, the artist was featured in the catalogue and exhibit known as Post-Painterly Abstraction.
  • His work is distinguished by vibrant hues.
  • Paul Feeley’s style from the beginning was compared to the style associated with The Abstract Expressionists.

 


25. Jill Nathanson

Color field artists

Born: 1955 (age 67 years)

  • Jill Nathanson is an artist from New York City associated with color field painting.
  • Nathanson painted abstract images that were influenced by Eisen’s analysis of the text. Eisen wrote commentaries on her work.
  • Nathanson’s work from the mid-2000s onwards is abstract color fields. She makes small-scale studies of shapes cut out of color gels.

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