Barnett Newman - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, April 19, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Dieter Schwarz 1966.0IB

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Newman, too, is both a Newman and not a Newman. The decision of the artist seems to have been to see how close he could come to one of his paintings in a medium which, in the artist's words, is "color already in a frame and under glass."
    There was the intention to find an equivalent to paint; still, no one could tell what would happen.
    What did happen was that while The Moment is a Newman image, it does not look like a Newman. Nor does it look like a painting, though if it were hung on a wall in a nonreflecting light among other paintings it might be mistaken for one.
    It is a Newman memento, in so far as it is composed of strips of color and has the artist's sense of scale.
    But The Moment refutes the view that Newman is a mere designer of that his contribution lies in introducing an art of bands and fields of color.
    A Newman painting, when it succeeds, is a rectangle that comes to life. The abstract form presses toward its limits in rhythms determined by the inherent energy of the pigment. This dynamism depends on paint; mere hue will not supply it.
    No Newman painting is as "still" as this Plexiglas Newman. Close up, the vibrating edges of the light blue band energize the entire strip, but as the spectator moves back the play of the edges disappears. What the image retains of Newman's painting and sculpture is their reserved and simplified elegance.
    The differing relations of these works to other creations of the artists are [in Four on Plexiglas], in my opinion, a fascinating feature of the collection as a whole. Except for the Rivers, Four on Plexiglas are not translations of paintings into a reproducible form. As objects they assume a place of their own among the productions of these highly important artists. Harold Rosenberg, Using a New Medium, Multiples, Inc. 1965-1992, 2001, pp. 42-43


The Moment, from Four on Plexiglas (Barnett Newman Foundation 227) (S. 1966.0IB)

Screenprint on Plexiglas backed with rag board and mounted to wood support, contained in the original Plexiglas cover (as issued).
49 1/8 x 5 1/8 x 1 1/8 in. (124.8 x 13 x 2.9 cm)
Incised with signature, date and numbered 71/125 on the Plexiglas cover (there were also sixteen proofs lettered A-P), published by Multiples, Inc., New York, framed.

$12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for $25,200

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212 940 1220

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 19 - 21 April 2022