Tom Chambers

The Primordial Pixel

Primordial: constituting a beginning; giving origin to something derived or developed; original; elementary.

These Pixelscape images are similar to Color Field painting that emerged in New York City during the 1940s and 1950s. This movement places less emphasis on gesture, brushstrokes and action in favor of an overall consistency of form and process. In Color Field painting, color is freed from objective context, and it becomes the subject in itself ("Themes in American Art: Abstraction." National Gallery of Art, Web, May 9, 2010).

Color Field painting emerged out of the attempts of several artists to devise a modern, mythic art. Seeking to connect with the primordial emotions locked in ancient myths, rather than the symbols themselves, they sought a new style that would do away with any suggestion of illustration ( Jackson Pollock, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Ad Reinhardt and Arshile Gorky (in his last works) are among the prominent abstract expressionist painters identified as being connected to Color Field painting in the 1950s and 1960s ("Smithsonian Museum Exhibits Color Field Painting", December 7, 2008).

By the late 1950s and early 1960s, young artists began to break away stylistically from Abstract Expressionism experimenting with new ways of making pictures and new ways of handling paint and color. In the early 1960s, several and various new movements in abstract painting were related to each other. Some of the new styles and movements that appeared in the early 1960s as responses to Abstract Expressionism were called: Washington Color School, Hard-edge painting, Geometric Abstraction, Minimalism, and Color Field.

Tom Chamber's Pixelscapes exhibit on the MOCA site

Tom Chambers' website at

Tom Chambers' AutoGallery exhibit