In colour: the Colour Field movement’s past and present merge at Paul Kasmin

In colour: the Colour Field movement’s past and present merge at Paul Kasmin

The Color Field movement – defined by saturated paint and amorphous shapes – was a distinctive approach pioneered by Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland, a conscious rejection the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline. 

There’s a new generation of artists echoing and reinventing that practice – and none more so than the Brooklyn-based artist Landon Metz.

Paul Kasmin Gallery’s latest staging cleverly juxtaposes Metz’s newest endeavours right alongside one of Louis’ seminal Veil paintings in the exhibition ‘Morris Louis/Landon Metz’.

Front and centre is Louis’s iconic 1958 work, Tzadik, with its layers of diluted paint in a palette of moss greens that bleed into tobacco browns and burnt orange. Next to that pivotal work are Metz’s four Untitled paintings, each measuring some six feet in length as well as close to five feet in width.

‘Like Louis, Landon questions the traditional processes, such as brush work, involved in creating a painting,’ says Eric Gleason, the gallery director who co-curated this show with the art critic Alex Bacon. ‘Where he continues to push those boundaries is with regard to the painting versus sculpture categorisation, and the image versus object power struggle,’ he adds.

Rather than turning to highly thinned paint, Metz literally pours acrylic blue dye onto unprimed, unstretched canvases, and in doing so, achieves a sense of stain. ‘The dye literally flows over the canvas and creates a new form,’ he points out. Metz’s Pillar is just that – a freestanding, cube-like sculpture comprised of individual sections also rendered in blue dye against an untreated canvas.

With so much of contemporary art marked by sharp angles and an occasionally day-glo palette, Landon’s work is thrillingly meditative in nature.

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