Colour Field

Matthew Williamson SS13

Colour Field is an artistic movement all about emotion and expression, with a close link to Abstract Expressionism and Action Painting. The artists treat their canvas or paper as a ‘field’ of vision where they pour their emotions into the piece through bold lines and patterns of colours building tension and emphasising the flatness of the surface. The relationship between the artist and colours is the key to this period, and each artist displayed their emotions personally in the expression of the colours.

Matthew Williamson SS13

Artists such as Mark Rothko, Kenneth Noland, Paul Jenkins and Norman Lewis worked in huge scale creating large enough pieces to absorb the audience. Colour Field painting was first introduced after Action Painting in the 1950’s and some of the artists such as Helen Frankenthaler still practice in the modern day. One of the best known Colour Field painters is Mark Rothko. His work developed along with his emotions, starting with red, green and orange in the 1950’s, his work soon grew dark and emphasised dark blues, black and greys representing tragedy and doom. Morris Louis is also a key name in the world of Abstract Expressionism, Colour Field and Minimalism. It was his work ‘Where’ which moved Abstract Expressionism into the light of Colour Field

Within the fashion world Colour Field is highly inspirational. Bold and eccentric colours have dominated collections for years. Ever since the explosion of colour in the 1960’s in fashion and art designers have experimented with bold pure colours inspired by this art movement. Designers such as Gucci and Alberta Ferretti empowered the catwalk in Milan Spring Summer 2013 with sophisticated bold colours and flowing fabrics such as chiffon.

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Written by Felicity Jones

Felicity Jones, studying Literature at Portsmouth University, with a passion for all things art and fashion, writer/reader/ editor/ artist/ dedicated shopper. Felicity looks after the Catwalk Yourself Art Dictionary.

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