Magical Space Forms
On View at the Getty Center: Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970
Lorser Feitelson is one of the founding members of the group of Southern California artists known as hard-edge painters. His Magical Space Forms paintings were included in the 1959 exhibition Four Abstract Classicists alongside those by Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley, and John McLaughlin. The curator of this exhibition, Jules Langsner, worked with the artists to coin the term “abstract classicism” to describe the new style of non-representational painting. The clear, geometric shapes of uniform color in Feitelson’s paintings contrast markedly with the gestural painting of abstract expressionist artists. Feitelson’s tightly fitted forms seem both flat and three-dimensional, and their highly contrasting colors and orthogonal outlines create a sense of dynamic thrust and movement across the surface of the painting. Magical Space Forms reduces color and line to essential expressive elements, creating a harmonious balance of form and space that evokes both rationality and emotion.