Digital Abstraction: Eric Sanders

Colour Field Painting emerged in the 1950s and was characterised by large areas of a single colour. The term was originally applied to American abstract expressionist painters such as Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Clyfford Still, known for their expressive block-style forms. The movement then went on to encompass other pure abstract artists such as Helen Frakenthaler and Morris Louis. Painters like these focused on flat space, using techniques such as pouring oil and soaking canvases to create a luminous, colour-washed effect, distinct in its pigment and textures. As Tate explains, the new movement eliminated any traces of “emotional or mythical content.” Instead, pieces relied on real and concrete compositions. Today the question arises – what happens when we apply Colour Field to the contemporary world? How does the process of painting transform in the digital age? What role does technology play in art?

The result finds ground in Eric Sanders’ (b. 1963) exhibition at Los Angeles-gallery Eastern Projects in Chinatown, from 9 September, to the end of the month. The Philadelphia-born artist employs a distinct approach toward image-making, combining geometric abstraction with playful exuberance.

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