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Maker(s):Buchwald, Howard
Culture:American, born 1943
Date Made:1974
Materials:oil on linen
Measurements:overall: 48 1/2 x 48 1/2 in.; 123.19 x 123.19 cm
Accession Number:  AC 1994.3
Credit Line:Gift of Steven M. Jacobson (Class of 1953)
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
Throughout his long career devoted to abstract painting, Howard Buchwald has inserted his art thoughtfully into key aesthetic debates defining his generation. Untitled reveals the degree to which the painter, like many others, explored both the “purity” and “object-hood” of art in the 1970s. As with works by Joseph Albers and Richard Anuszkiewicz, this painting features a square—in this case, one defined by rather thick white contours—whose dimensions stem from the picture plane. For art-minded viewers of the period, the composition’s flatly painted brown surface would have signified aesthetic “purity,” a quality that the physical division of the canvas boldly violates. This violation reveals the presumably “pure” picture plane to be an object subject to alteration. The composition’s wide stretcher bars, which enhance the painting’s physical presence, likewise assert Untitled’s “object-hood,” not unlike the more obviously sculptural works by Elizabeth Murray and Frank Stella.

abstract; square; lines

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