Barnett Newman American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 919

In 1948 Barnett Newman began painting in a new and unique format. Abandoning the use of various other abstract elements on the canvas, Newman instead laid down one or more vertical bands, usually with the help of masking tape. These "zips," as he came to call them, become the organizing principle behind the work, the decisive elements that structure the entire picture.

Concord was painted during Newman's most prolific year. He exhibited the painting in his first solo exhibition at Betty Parsons Gallery in 1950, which was installed with the help of his friend, Mark Rothko. Concord's green layer of paint is uncharacteristically brushy, and it was perhaps with its atmospheric wash in mind that Newman titled the picture after the town famous for Henry David Thoreau's Walden, where he and his wife, Annalee, had honeymooned fourteen years earlier.

Concord, Barnett Newman (American, New York 1905–1970 New York), Oil and masking tape on canvas

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