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Color field painting is a style of abstract painting that emerged in New York City during the 1940s and 1950s. It was inspired by European modernism and closely related to abstract expressionism, while many of its notable early proponents were among the pioneering abstract expressionists. Color field is characterized primarily by large fields of flat, solid color spread across or stained into the canvas creating areas of unbroken surface and a flat picture plane. The 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 becomes the subject in itself."
During the late 1950s and 1960s, color field painters emerged in parts of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the United States, particularly New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, using formats of stripes, targets, simple geometric patterns and references to landscape imagery and to nature.