Summary

Instant Loveland is one of the largest canvases Olitski has ever painted. From 1966, he began placing a greater emphasis on colour and explored the framing-edge. Along the top and sides of this work, coloured lines define the edge of what otherwise appears a film of delicate, tonally related colours (pinks, purples and greens). The surface of the canvas is emphasised by the spiky texture created in places by the varying densities of pigment. In his statement for the 1966 Venice Biennale, 'Painting In Colour', Olitski wrote: 'When the conception of internal form is governed by edge, color ... appears to remain on or above the surface. I think, on the contrary, of colour as being seen in and throughout, not solely on, the surface'.

The critic Rosalind Krauss, in her catalogue essay for the exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia 1968, a show which included Instant Loveland, wrote [p.4]:

Because the seeing of the surface is tied to the perception of a kind of color which so opens and expands that surface toward the viewer that it might be characterized as foreshortened, the very seeing of the painting in all its literalness poses a question about where the surface is. To see Olitski's color means to see the surface itself as elusive and unaligned.
It was these qualities of surface and edge, and colour and line, which Krauss used to place Olitski's art in relation to the work of his contemporaries and in the history of modernism.

Further reading:
Jules Olitski, 'Painting In Colour', Artforum, vol.5, no.5, Jan. 1967, p.20
Rosalind E. Krauss, Jules Olitski: Recent Paintings, exhibition catalogue, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia 1968

Terry Riggs
October 1997