Brush and black ink on cream wove paper
Support: Cream wove paper
Sheet: 53.5 x 61.1 cm (21 1/16 x 24 1/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1986.4
© Barnett Newman Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Catalogue raisonné: Shiff 178
Newman made this drawing just after a decade-long period during which he had not worked at all on paper.
A pioneer of abstract painting, Barnett Newman developed his own severe, minimal style around 1945 and spent the rest of his career working within a strict vocabulary of form. He focused on the "zip," the long vertical element extending from top to bottom on his canvases. This important drawing is related to a series of fourteen paintings that he named The Stations of the Cross (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC), perhaps his greatest achievement. In many ways the paintings are like large drawings, and this work has much in common with them, using the same vocabulary of positive black and negative white forms to declare space.
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