Untitled (Red on White Optical)
On View at the Getty Center: Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970
Lorser Feitelson was the senior most artist in the group that came to be known as the “Abstract Classicists” or hard-edge painters. In the 1930s, Feitelson began developing a post-surrealist style of representational painting, which influenced the artist throughout his career. By the mid-1940s, these semi-abstract canvases—which emphasized foreshortened figures, vague horizon lines, and compound vanishing points—gave way to the all-out abstractions of Feitelson’s Magical Forms series. Throughout the 1950s, these investigations of color and form became increasingly minimal. Untitled (Red on White Optical) is nearly emptied out of any pictorial element, leaving only a red stripe moving down the white field of the canvas. The gesture is simple and elegant, yet still retains a formal suggestion of the artist’s earliest post-surreal experiments.