Theme/Style Representational art, Structuralism, Abstraction, Op Art
Media Oils, murals, tapestries
Artistic Focus Ben Cunningham’s career tracks the history of 20th Century American Modern Art, moving from landscapes and representational art early in his life, through the California Modernist influences of his 1934 Coit Tower work, Outdoor Life, and into Abstraction, Geometric Abstraction and Op Art. Through the style of Optical or Op Art, also known as Perceptual Abstraction, Cunningham used art to create the illusion of movement. Regardless of the style, however, all of Cunningham’s work was imbued with threads of his early education in architecture and his respect for structuralism and cubism. Works created by Cunningham throughout all phases of his career are marked by a strong sense of design and an ordered progression of color. Intricate, repeated patterns, which appear in many of his paintings, echo his work in tapestry design.
• Cunningham was born in Colorado and studied architecture
at the University of Nevada before moving to San Francisco to study art.
Additional biographical material and full bibliographic references are available upon request.
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