Acrylic on plexiglas
Framed: 122.6 x 92.7 x 12.7 cm (48 1/4 x 36 1/2 x 5 in.); Unframed: 122 x 91.5 cm (48 1/16 x 36 in.)
Gift of Frank Stella 1978.163
Los Angeles-based artist Craig Kauffman has been creating vacuum-formed plastic wall reliefs since the 1960s, when he gained notoriety as a so-called "Finish Fetish" artist. Members of this West Coast movement used technological processes and materials, such as polymer, plastics and paints, to create smooth, high-gloss works of art. For example, the native southern California tradition of customizing surfboards, boats, and automobiles with painted flames and panoramic scenes influenced Kauffman and his fellow Californian Don Eddy (whose work is on view nearby).
Like the Minimalist artists who gained notoriety later in the 1960s, Kauffman's super-slick, clean-edged aesthetic was achieved by adapting industrial manufacturing processes to art-making. Here, the art object is a section of injection-molded plastic. While the "painting's" smooth surface and iridescent, Day-Glo green color are visually enticing, the object itself does not invite the viewer to touch and appreciate its physicality.
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