Color-Field Paintings
by Fiore Ai and Fleur Yano

"They (Fiore Ai’s paintings) are at once subtle and bold, fluid and tense, moving across the space that evokes a cosmic world."

The art world was never the same after the abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollack introduced his dynamic, drip paintings on large surfaces in 1943, impacting and influencing future artists. Color-field painting was one such movement that followed Pollack’s explosive entrance on the American art scene. Artists such as Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Ad Reinhardt used large canvases filled with unexpected pigments and flow patterns or geometric shapes with thick lines and vivid colors. This book traces the influence of these painters on one artist’s work by following her progression and vision through selected paintings. The beginning of the book offers a short history of abstract expressionism and its aftermath listing the artists that most influenced Ai. It is followed by a chronological study of her work beginning with her early collagraphs and ending with her large acrylic Planetary Series.

The choice of works in this book is exemplary in showcasing the artist’s work and progression with color-field painting. One can see from the early collagraphs the influence of the early artists. Her movement into elongated paintings such as Acra Variation #11 (1972) with her choice of red magentas and deep blues and their gradations into lighter tones show her grasp of movement and tension. As her painting becomes more complex, she moves from large multi-panel works into large, single-panel series paintings such as Cosmic Rays which is filled with intense movement and color, evoking an emotional reaction from the viewer. With each step along the artist’s path into color-field paintings, one feels her embracing the intensity of color, movement, and tension and comes to recognize art’s capacity to evoke a visceral response. This is a book that takes the art lover on a journey of discovery with the artist as they embrace together the power of art.

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