Abstract Landscapes by Chris Coles
Two great American painters, Mark Rothko and Milton Avery, were both interested in the idea that the essence of a painting was not its illusory representation of “reality and depth” but instead the painting’s colors and their relation to each other. Rothko thought that a painting should have no “Representation of Reality” at all. Just be blocks of different colors. And, while Avery agreed that Color Fields, colors and their relationship with each other, were a crucial element in a painting, he also thought paintings should have, however vague and abstract, some reference to “Representational Reality”. In this series of abstract landscapes, I tried to find a Middle Path between “Representational Reality” and pure “Color Fields”. Even though I later developed a more representational style similar to the German Expressionists, I still see my often heavily distorted representational images as opportunities for extreme use of non-representational color.