The southern California art scene of the 1970’s and early 80’s radiated with an energy that was unparalleled to any other time period it had ever experienced. It was during those years that Grey Crawford produced an extensive body of work, from which highly original color pieces from the mid 1975-1982, came to be. This selection of photographs represents an extension of Crawford’s interest in using masked geometric shapes.
These photographic images still reflect his painterly roots inspired by two of California’s hard edge painters Karl Benjamin and John McLaughlin, yet his experimentations add a new dimension to this ongoing dialogue. He abstracted landscape images by cutting and masking basic geometric shapes through color filters directly onto the photographic paper. Crawford’s darkroom innovations may have utilized the forms and fronts observed in these earlier hard edge painters, yet his colors reflect a fascination with Mexican architect Luis Barragán.
Crawford, who inadvertently discovered him through his publication, The Architecture of Luis Barragán, was inspired by his use of strong chromatic hues and color tones to define the volume of space. He then worked the following ten years using the darkroom for his one man performances in exploring and creating new methods in defining his own color language. Grey Crawford’s ‘Chroma Figura’, marks a turning point in how art history will rewrite itself to include those visual pioneers who found their voice long before anyone else could hear them.
Grey Crawford was born in Inglewood, California, USA and graduated from Claremont Graduate University in 1977. He lives and works in Los Angeles, USA. The series Umbra was exhibited at Gallery Taik Persons in 2017 for the very first time and also published in the same year by Kehrer Verlag in the book, Grey Crawford: Finding Bones. His latest book, El Mirage (Hatje Cantz) was published in November 2018 featuring works produced from 1975-1978, in the southern Mojave Desert, California. Chroma will be published next year by Hatje Cantz. His works have recently been added to the collections of the Getty and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.