The Whitney Museum’s current exhibition “Spilling Over Painting Color in the 1960’s” features work from their collection that explore the perception of bold color. Geometry was a powerful vehicle of expression for a number of artists represented.
Alvin Loving’s “Septehedron 34” acrylic on shaped canvas from 1970 presents a 3-D projection of an imaginary seven sided figure on to the 2-D plane. Made up of a lattice of seven right triangles , the viewer is looking directly at one triangular face, surrounded by three other triangles with the three remaining triangles intersecting in the background.
“The Fourth of the Three” from 1963 by Richard Anuszkiewicz has only three colors of paint but the image created appears to have a much more complex palate of various intensities. The undulating grid of not quite all squares was manipulated by varying width of the red lines between the shapes. Using a mathematical plan, the lines are thin at the four sides square panel, then growing thicker, before getting thin again at the center. This creates the optical illusion of movement.
Richard Anuszkiewicz’s sculptural wooden wall constructions are currently on display in the exhibition “Translumina Series 1989-1993” at the Loretta Howard Gallery. These geometric forms present the illusion of three dimensionality but, except for low relief line carving the sculptures are flat.
“Orange Light- Day and Night” from 1990 resembles two open boxes with the openings angled in opposite directions. The left hand box opens upper wards towards the left and the right hand box opens down wards to the right. The use of parallel lines plays a important role in creation a sense of dimensionality.
The carved away white lines are thinner near the edges and thicker towards the center of each of the quadrilateral elements. This process has created the effect of shadows.
“Translumina- Marriage of Silver and Gold” from 1992 also features two open square boxes. In this sculpture the two geometric shapes appear to be entwined, creating a more complex representation of foreground and background. Anuszkiewicz’s geometric paintings offer the viewer contrasting perspectives on space. Low profile wood carving gives the work an objectness, actually coming slightly off gallery wall, but the work seems to be much more dimensional.