Second Theme

Burgoyne Diller (American, New York, New York 1906–1965 New York, New York)
Oil on canvas
30 1/8 × 30 1/8 in. (76.5 × 76.5 cm)
Credit Line:
George A. Hearn Fund, 1963
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 912
Influenced by the works of Piet Mondrian from the 1910s and 1920s, Diller devised his own abstract formats in the 1930s. Divided into groups called "first," "second," and "third" themes, Diller’s three series explore the movement generated by different arrangements of geometric forms within a square canvas. "Second" theme pictures, such as this, feature a grid system within which rectangular bands of differing widths extend across the canvas.
Inscription: Signed and dated (reverse, on stretcher): diller 1938-40
[James Graham & Sons, New York, until 1963; sold to MMA]

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Three Centuries of American Painting," April 9–October 17, 1965, unnum. checklist.

New York. B. Altman & Co. December 4–10, 1969, no catalogue.

Minneapolis. Walker Art Center. "Burgoyne Diller: Paintings, Sculptures, Drawings," December 12, 1971–January 16, 1972, no. 4.

Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. "Burgoyne Diller: Paintings, Sculptures, Drawings," February 16–March 26, 1972, no. 4.

Pasadena Art Museum. "Burgoyne Diller: Paintings, Sculptures, Drawings," May 9–July 2, 1972, no. 4.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. "Post-Mondrian Abstraction in America," March 31–May 13, 1973.

San Juan. El Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña. "Arte del Siglo Veinte: EE.UU. del Museo Metropolitano de Arte," April 19–May 31, 1974, no. 15.

Albuquerque. University of New Mexico Art Museum. "American Abstract Artists," February 27–April 3, 1977, unnumbered cat. (p. 25).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Tribute to a Curator: Robert Beverly Hale," November 16, 1978–March 4, 1979, extended to March 18, 1979, unnum. checklist.

New Haven. Yale University Art Gallery. "Mondrian and Neo-Plasticism in America," October 18–December 2, 1979, no. 8.

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America, 1927-1944," June 28–September 9, 1984, no. 38.

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Burgoyne Diller," September 13–November 25, 1990, unnumbered cat. (fig. 59).

New York. Washburn Gallery. "Referencing Mondrian No. 1: Burgoyne Diller, Fritz Glarner, Harry Holtzman, Charmion von Wiegand," October 17–November 18, 1995, unnum. catalogue (dated 1937–38).

Henry Geldzahler. American Painting in the Twentieth Century. New York, 1965, p. 148, ill.

Barbara Haskell. Burgoyne Diller. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. 1990, pp. 52, 55, 178, fig. 59 (color).