History of excellence of acrylic colors. Behind every pack of Liquitex acrylic paints, there is a long history, which painters who dabble with these substances should know. For many reasons: because acrylic colors, looking at the very long history of figurative art, are all in all a recent novelty, far younger than their oil paint colleagues, which have their roots in past centuries. But also because it’s nice to realize what you’re using when you’re painting on canvas or paper.
Discover the history of Liquitex acrylic colors
We do not want to be grandparents of the situation, those who always emphasize that “once upon a time” it was different, that today everything is more superficial, and so on. However, it is good to realize that the acrylic colors that we find on the market today, especially those produced by quality brands such as Liquitex, are small miracles of science and technology, something that, a century ago, we did not even dream of. To be able to reach.
We are talking about dense, creamy colors loaded with pigment, which appear in lines with vast chromatic spectra, which allow you to cover large portions using a pin of the product completely. About seventy years ago, when artists began to use acrylic colors for their works, we had to settle for paints far removed from those we are used to today. A good part of this progress in the development of acrylic painting and cool drawing ideas can be traced back to Liquitex, a name protected in this field. Let’s see the history of this brand!
As you can find out by browsing the pages of our e-commerce of products for art. Liquitex – which, as we will see shortly, started its first steps in the middle of the last century – produces a wide range of different products. The central point of his production is the acrylic colors, in their most different forms. The actual acrylic colors, which we could define as “classic,” in the heavy and soft body versions. We then move on to gels, mediums, but also inks, markers, and spray cans. And then there are all the accessories by Liquitex, designed to be able to use the leading products in the best possible way: we, therefore, have the brushes and flat brushes for painting, the spray can cause holder belts, as well as the spatulas, to get up to the canvas paper for acrylic.
Before Liquitex: the prehistory of acrylic colors
It can say that the official entry of acrylic colors into the world of artistic painting was accompanied by spirited brands in the sector, with Liquitex at the forefront, in the 1950s. But if that is where the history of acrylics in art begins, it must say that acrylic paints already existed before. The inventor of this new substance was the German pharmacist and chemist Otto Röhm, who created acrylic paint for industrial use around 1915, without actually thinking of any application in the artistic field. Someone else did it for him, starting with the Mexican muralists, to the point of arriving – in 1936 – at a workshop entirely dedicated to acrylic painting in New York, organized by David Alfaro Siqueiros, a leading name in the area of social realism. And it was there, legend has it, that Jackson Pollock learned about acrylic paints: the sequel, a little dripping, we all know. Therefore, it was begun to understand that acrylic paints could succeed in the art world if adequately produced. And this is where the history of the Liquitex brand comes in.
The history of Liquitex
The history of Liquitex begins before the actual birth of this brand. The company that gave life to the brand was called Permanent Pigments Company, born in 1933 in Ohio, in Cincinnati, and produced oil colors for artists under the guidance of Henry Levinson. Levinson’s goal was to bring ever better products for art to the market, opening the doors to innovation: not surprisingly, in 1950, he founded together with others the National Art Materials Trade Association, which had precisely the aim of innovating materials in the art world.
The first acrylic products create in the 1950s
Five years later, Levinson went from words to deeds and created the first water-based acrylic plaster, surprisingly called Liquitex. Have you ever thought about the meaning of this name? This term is formed by the English words Liquid and Texture to underline the transformism of these paints from the point of view of consistency. Levinson, however, did not stop there. Expert chemist, wholly devoted to producing products for art – on his website Liquitex describes the founder as “a color chemist who lived, drank, slept and breathed artist’s values.”
A few years later, in 1963, the second element of this famous combination arrived, namely the Liquitex heavy body acrylic color, or the first high-density acrylic color, which brings the world of acrylics closer to that of oil colors. In the same year, Levinson’s company began to produce the first gel mediums. It then launched, in 1965, the first public demonstration program of the Lecture Demonstration Program cycle. Professional artists began to carry out artistic demonstrations among the universities and colleges in the States using Liquitex products. Meanwhile, at Liquitex, the research and development sector continued to grind new ideas, with Levinson inaugurating in 1970 the first machine aimed at testing the resistance of colors to light.
From the 80s to the present day
On the other hand, the Eighties began with the introduction of new containers for the color, or the Glaminate tubes, made with 7 layers of different materials, which replaced the old metal tubes (which did not adequately protect the acrylic colors from drying. and corrosion). In 1985 a new initiative on the educational side was launched, with the creation of the Liquitex Studi Arts Advisory Council, a special council made up of art professors and artists, to identify and bring to light the needs and problems of artists, students, and professionals. We now come to the present day: in 2008, the superfluid inks Ink! Were introduced, in 2013 the acrylic markers arrived on the market, in 2018, the acrylic gouache colors. In short, the history of Liquitex still seems to have many chapters to write.