A leading abstract painter in his lifetime, Dan Christensen drew from a range of Modernist sources to produce colorful, luminous compositions that featured giant dots, whirling loops, and grids. Originally trained in classical, figurative painting, Christensen later sought to transcend stylistic restrictions, experimenting throughout his career with an array of tools to apply paint, including rollers, squeegees, brooms, and weed-sprayers. In highly acclaimed early work he used spray guns to paint over square and looping pieces of tape, then removed the tape to create swirls and grids of color with shimmering surface effects. Christensen considered the works of Jackson Pollock and the Color Field Painters to be major influences on his practice.
Among America’s leading abstract artists, Dan Christensen was devoted over the course of forty years to exploring the limits, range, and possibilities of paint and pictorial form. Although his art belongs within the category defined by the influential art critic Clement Greenberg as Color Field or Post-Painterly Abstraction, he both carried on the legacy of this approach while stepping outside of it, through drawing from a wide variety of Modernist sources, using many idiosyncratic techniques, and employing methods more commonly associated with the action painting techniques of Abstract Expressionism. The result is a distinctive body of artwork that is original, surprising, and filled with joy, exuberance, and pleasure in the act of painting.
Spainerman Modern, New York, NY
Private collection, New York, NY
Dan Christensen - The Stain Paintings, 1976-1988; p. 6, 18.