First Theme

1963
(American, 1906–1965)
Framed: 231 x 99 x 4 cm (90 15/16 x 39 x 1 9/16 in.); Unframed: 228.6 x 96.5 cm (90 x 38 in.)
© Estate of Burgoyne Diller / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
This artwork is known to be under copyright.
Location: not on view

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

During the Great Depression, while trying to support his education at the Art Students League, Diller painted signs for restaurants in exchange for meals.

Description

For much of his long and productive career, Burgoyne Diller sought to create the illusion of volume and space through colors on a flat surface. He pursued this effort by exploring three themes, all involving geometric forms against contrasting backgrounds. In "First Theme" paintings, floating rectangular shapes are dominant. In "Second" and "Third Theme" works, these elements become part of increasingly complex grid systems. The controlled and ordered tensions in this First Theme painting result from a long and painstaking process of creation. Diller composed his works by arranging colored paper rectangles on a canvas. When satisfied with their placement, he removed them and painted the shapes in primary colors, as well as black, white, and gray. He often rubbed the surface with fine sandpaper to avoid the distraction of glare and remove any indication of brushmarks, along with all evidence of emotional expressiveness.
First Theme

First Theme

1963

Burgoyne Diller

(American, 1906–1965)
America, 20th century

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.