Ronald Mudd

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Rythmic, 1965

Ronald Mudd began his professional life as a sculptor and in his later years turned to painting, bringing along his sensibilities as a sculptor. In the early 1960s, Mudd began to introduce two dimensional elements onto his canvas, making what he called ‘specific objects’. By 1965 he had established an essential vocabulary of forms which preoccupied him for the next thirty years.

He broke new ground with Rythmic in his exploration of interval, volume, space and color. He focused principle emphasis on the presence of the object and the space around it; his work draws particular attention to the relationship between the object, the viewer, and its environment.

Mudd encouraged concentration on the object and this concept became a central focus of his career. His pared-down forms and sensuous depiction of objects remain a feature of much contemporary art, architecture and design.

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Reverberation, 1967

Ronald Mudd's artistic approach can be seen in his treatment of space. He prided himself on the fact that in his 'stack entities' - the empty space between the rectangles - is an integral part of the work as a whole. That is something he learned in architecture, where columns, towers, and such exist not so much as an end in themselves, but rather as a means of structuring and articulating the surrounding space.

Mudd used the simplest principles of composition. This applies in the first place to the elements he used: a rectangle is constructed according to one single principle: all the sides are placed at right angles

In the application and selection of color the necessities of representation dictate its use. Color can be pure when there is no shadow to suggest rounding. Mudd insisted that the painter should concentrate on pure color. As he has frequently remarked: "What you see is what you see."

And no doubt, color 'works' in Reverberation because Mudd makes color speak - to produce whatever effect he is making in his art.

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Encapsulation, 1969

Mudd wanted to sever connections with Abstract Expressionism and break into the new geometric abstraction. Encapsulation is nothing if it is not a geometric abstraction that enfolds object and space.

During his lifetime, he published a large body of theoretical writings, in which he rigorously promoted the approch to Minimalist Art in Painting. No doubt, Ronald Mudd has brought colour back to where it has always been at home and now deftly located in the new geometric abstraction.