Symphony No. 1, The Transcendental

Richard Pousette-Dart American

Not on view

Monumental in scale and densely and thickly painted, Pousette-Dart’s Symphony No. 1, The Transcendental represents a remarkable synthesis of Cubism, biomorphic Surrealism, and 1930s mural painting. Organized upon an uneven grid, the composition consists of circles, teardrops, ovals, arcs, diamonds, and crosses in a rhythmic spread of black, white, and earth tones with points of bright color. Identifiable subjects appear—perhaps a bird at lower left, or some primitive weaponry at upper left—but also fade away. The musical title suggests the artist’s desire to create in paint a grand, intensely personal aesthetic experience, like an orchestral symphony.

Symphony No. 1, The Transcendental, Richard Pousette-Dart (American, St. Paul, Minnesota 1916–1992 New York), Oil on canvas

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