Untitled, Oil on canvas, 1960, 31 1/4 x 21 1/4 inches
From the permanent collection at the Laguna Art Museum in California, Florence Arnold's painting, Untitled, captures the energy of the hard edge style she became known for.
Florence Arnold began her career in the arts as a music teacher for 42 years, before going back to school to study painting. In the 1950's she started working with a group of painters, including Karl Benjamin, Paul Durrow and Jack Zajac, who inspired her to begin to paint abstractly. Untitled, painted in 1960, uses shades of blue to build a wall like surface that moves in and out of space. By playing with warm and cool tones, Arnold creates a dynamic painting that reminds us of origami folds in paper. The term "hard edge painting" was coined by critic Jules Langsner, to describe the reaction Californian painters were having towards the more painterly and gestural Abstract Expressionist movement.
Throughout Arnold's career she was extremely active in her community, including being a founding member of the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton California, which supports young artists pursuing art careers. Her bold and courageous decision to leave her music career and go back to school at 50 serves as a reminder that age should not determine when you start a new career or pursue a new passion.