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Defining Illlusionism

Ronald Davis
Green Skew,
84 X 132 inches overall
Liquatex Acrylic Spray

 It was an exciting time of the sixties for painting when the art historian Barbara Rose applied the term "Abstract Illusionism" to the works of a number of artists that had reintroduced illusion into their painting. Since the beginning of the 20th century painting had become flatter and flatter, more two-diminsional. Reversing this trend, I began using first using isometric perspective to "draw" and shape my paintings, then one-point, two-point, and later three-point perspective illusion to give the perception of depth and at the same time retaining the flatness and color interaction of Modernist painting. However I would like to think that, and it was always my intention to keep the paintings abstract at their core, surmising that a slab is at least as abstract as a square. I did not have the goal of realism in mind, any more than Frank Stella did in his paintings of the sixties which could be termed, "painting as an object" or minimal. Rather, my work can be seen a "painting as the illusion of an object." Reintroducing perspective illusion into the main stream of the art of painting is my contributiion.


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