Raymond Parker had a home in East Hampton from 1974 until his death in 1990. One critic, Michael Brenson, situates him in "the postwar American effort to reconcile the open-endedness and sweep of Abstract Expressionism with the refined lyricism of Matisse." Parker first achieved renown with his "Simple Paintings" - canvases consisting of from one to five shapes that, he said, "floated, rested heavily, hung, nudged, bumped, touched, hovered in vast voids of separation." These canvases had affinities with Rothko and Motherwell, but were distinctly Parker's. Their focused, clearly defined and articulated forms look toward the geometries of much 1960s art and linked him with such Color Field painters as Kenneth Noland, Al Held, and Jack Youngerman. In the mid-1960s and into the 1970s, Parker's canvases exploded with vibrant color, elaborate shapes, and lines. The fusion of color and drawing in these paintings had echoes of Matisse's cutouts, with fainter suggestions of Joan Miró and Stuart Davis, the latter, like Parker, a jazz devotee.


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