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Ron Van Sweringen: The Father Of Astroism

When a frustrated artist hurled paint at his canvas, a new genre was born.

“I don’t understand this. I can’t tell you what this is,” Ron Van Sweringen is saying about his abstract paintings. He pronounces his words with the soft vowels of a Southern aristocrat, the emphasis of an old-time revivalist and the rapid delivery of a man with no time to spare. The work in question is a composition of tangled strands and splotches of color that seems to float in the inky blackness of outer space.

“I don’t know why I put this color over that one,” Ron continues. “It’s not like a plan where you can say, ‘Okay, the road goes there, the tree goes there, the hill goes there.’ There’s no guide for this. You just keep going until something reaches a point where it says, ‘That’s enough, leave it alone and go away.’ ”

Read the entire article in the December 2010 issue