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Dan Christensen, Rana, 1968, October. Acrylic on canvas. Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Betty Freeman.

Image on current exhibition page: Richard Anuszkiewicz, Centered Green, 1979. Acrylic on canvas. Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell Kleinhandler.


Colorscope: Abstract Painting 1960-1979
March 20 - August 15, 2010

In the early 1960s the popularity of Abstract Expressionism waned in favor of new modes of abstraction that delivered through a succession of museum and gallery exhibitions and articles in the mainstream press that continued through the decade. Post-painterly Abstraction, Color Field, Op Art, Hard-Edge, Lyrical Abstraction—these are names of some but not all of the fractures that abstraction experienced from the 1960s through the 1970s. There are clear as well as arguable differences among these genres, but central to them all is one factor—an emphasis on color.

Colorscope features a selection of paintings, mostly from the Museum’s permanent collection, that reveal innovative ways in which color was made essential during this pivotal time. The exhibition features a range of artists—from influential figures to under-recognized talents—manipulating hues that ebb, flow, blend, undo, and inspire. Artists: Richard Anuszkiewicz, Alice Baber, Jerrold Burchman, Dan Christensen, Roy Colmer, Thomas Downing, Lorser Feitelson, John Ferren, Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Gilliam, June Harwood, Hans Hofmann, John McLaughlin, Kenneth Noland, James Parker, Larry Poons, Ernest Posey, Paul Reed, Bridget Riley, John Seery.

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