The next few images in Gallery Series I have been ‘inspired’ by the works of Barnett Newman. Like Clyfford Still, Newman was a colour field painter and, like Still, he too worked on very large canvasses. His paintings are characterized by flat fields of a single colour broken by isolated, thin (and usually) vertical stripes known as ‘Newman’s ‘zips’.
Newman was a deeply spiritual man and hoped to draw the viewer into his paintings to experience his search of ‘the sublime’. For him, the stripes represented ‘streaks of light’ – flashes of cosmic light. The art critic Robert Cumming encourages viewers to imagine drawing aside the blocks of colour to slowly reveal an expanding opening into an infinite space.
I have had these thoughts in mind when creating this group of images, although I have interpreted the concept quite freely and with decidedly more modest ambitions!
As with the earlier images, I would like you, the viewer, to visualise each image as a softly lit large scale canvas (say, 14 feet x 8 feet) on a white gallery wall and imagine quietly contemplating the abstract pattern. Attention should focus on a feeling response rather than a rational analysis. The use of the magnifier to enlarge the image may be helpful.