Doug Ohlson


acrylic on canvas
28 1/4 x 40 inches

The early years of Doug Ohlson’s career illustrate the art movements and styles popular in New York during the 1950s and 1960s. Ohlson moved from gestural black and white canvases reminiscent of Franz Kline, to stark contrasting works similar to Ellsworth Kelly, to stained canvases that show Mark Rothko’s influence. His signature style uses this staining technique, featuring rectangles of color floating above hazy fields, seen here in Gris. His skill with color is evident in the bars of radiant lilac, blue, and peach that bounce between warm and cool tones. Ohlson further activates the space of the canvas with muted washes behind each slab of color, leaving one section bare to create an internal pause that disrupts the rhythm within the painting. In 2002 a retrospective of 20 years of his painting was installed at the Hunter College/Times Square Gallery. His work was included in The Art of the Real: 1948-1968, the Museum of Modern Art’s groundbreaking 1968 survey of Minimalism and Color Field Painting. Ohlson’s paintings are in numerous institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Dallas Museum of Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo; and the Whitney Museum, New York.