Best known for his vacuum-formed plastic works, whose curving surfaces extend from the wall in stunning, vibrant hues, Craig Kauffman was a major figure in the Southern Californian art world of the 1950s and ’60s and part of the original stable of artists associated with the renowned Ferus Gallery and California Light & Space. Kauffman painted atop (and sometimes behind) translucent, vacuum-formed plastics, and was the first contemporary artist to use this commercial technology.
Influenced by Minimalism, as well as a wide range of European and Asian art movements, Kauffman worked in a clean-lined aesthetic that was by turns gestural and evocatively sensual. His approach—aligned with the practices of his Californian contemporaries Larry Bell and DeWain Valentine, among others—was described by art historians as the “L.A. finish fetish.”