color-field painting, abstract art movement that originated in the 1960s. Coming after the abstract expressionism of the 1950s, color-field painting represents a sharp change from the earlier movement. The production of the abstract expressionists involved a strong personal emotionalism, a painterly quality, and occasionally, as in the works of Willem de Kooning, elements of cubism. Color-field artists moved toward a more impersonal and austerely intellectual aesthetic. In their works they dealt with what they considered to be the fundamental formal elements of abstract painting: pure, unmodulated areas of color; flat, two-dimensional space; monumental scale; and the varying shape of the canvas itself. Painters associated with the movement include Ellsworth Kelly, Jules Olitski, Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella, and Morris Louis.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.