(American, born October 6, 1942–died January 20, 2007) was a painter who was part of the Abstract Expressionist, Lyrical Abstraction, and Color Field art movements. Christensen was born in Cozad, NE, and studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, where he received a BFA in Fine Art. After moving to New York City in the 1960s, he continued to experiment with his work.
In 1966, he hosted his first exhibition. His work as a studio assistant for Jules Olitski
and Kenneth Noland
in the 1970s helped shape his career, allowing him to witness artists working with new forms of media. The artist was initially associated with Minimalism, but gradually adopted a more abstract style.
Christensen often used squeegees, paint guns, and other unusual items to create his work. Most of his work was executed in acrylics or oil paints on canvas, and featured abstract shapes and designs in bright colors. He frequently used loops and rectangles, producing a layered look in many of his pieces. One of his more famous works is Serpens
, which he created in 1968. This piece is now exhibited in the Spanierman Gallery in New York City, and features loops and swirls of different colors on a bright red background. The 1984 piece Bourbon Street
also highlights his unusual painting style. The artist added blue swirls to a plain white canvas and finished the piece with a bright splash of yellow, added with a squeegee. Some of his later work was executed in a more Contemporary style, including Midnight with Miró
, which he finished in 1985.
Christensen garnered several awards over the course of his career, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Theodora Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Grant. Shortly before his death, he witnessed a retrospective of his work at the Spanierman Gallery. Following his death, several galleries, including the Spanierman Gallery, the Sheldon Museum of Art, and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, produced exhibitions devoted to the artist. The Fine Arts Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Meredith Long & Company
currently exhibit his work. Christensen died in 2007 in Easthampton, NY.