The term Hard-edge painting was coined by the
critic Jules Langsner in 1958 for a exhibition of four painters
in the summer 1959 in Los Angeles.They were named Four Abstract
Classicists to describe those abstract painters, who in their reaction
to the more painterly or gestural forms of Abstract Expressionism
adopted a particularly impersonal paint application and delineated
areas of colour with particular sharpness and clarity. The name
of this painters are: Lorser Feitelson, John McLaughlin, Frederick
Hammersley and Karl Benjamin. This exhibition was shown in 1960
in London too and the critic Lawrence Alloway coined the term
West-Coast Hard-Edge this established a connection to painters
as Ellsworth Kelly and Kenneth Noland.
Hard-edge painting is a style that uses very straight and clean
linear patterns and/or lines to create a 3-D effect on a 2-D surface.
Many tools can be used to do such work; most often, normal masking
tape. Using a flat and very soft paintbrush or a roller can have
a nice smooth look without seeing any of the marks usually left
by rough bristles. Palette knives can also be used to create these
This kind of approach to abstract painting became extremely widespread
in the 1960s.
Representative of this movement are Josef Albers, Al Held, Ellsworth
Kelly, Alexander Libermann, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Frank