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Maker(s):Bhavsar, Natvar
Culture:American, born in India (1934- )
Date Made:1984
Materials:Dry pigment and acrylic on paper mounted on canvas
Measurements:Stretcher: 49 1/4 in x 43 1/4 in x 1 1/2 in; 125.1 cm x 109.9 cm x 3.8 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2013.15
Credit Line:Gift of Steven M. Jacobson (Class of 1953)
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

On a black canvas, streaks of paint bleed through the darkness in dark, festive greens, purples, blues, and oranges. Each stroke traverses vertically down the painting in straight lines and looks like "distant stars or dust floating through a shaft of light" (from label). The artist also adds dry pigment on some of the streaks, giving some strokes a pop of color.

Label Text:
Working within the Color Field school, Natvar Bhavsar takes a unique approach. While most Color Field artists emphasize the uniformity of the painting surface, rejecting the gestural brushwork of other Abstract Expressionists—some even “stain” the canvas rather than paint it— Bhavsar revels in the tactility of color. Inspired by Holi, the Hindu festival during which people throw powdered pigment on each other, Bhavsar brushes dry pigment through a sieve onto paper or canvas saturated with acrylic; the pigment is absorbed but retains its granular texture, resembling distant stars or dust floating through a shaft of light.

Bhavsar gave this painting to Steven Jacobson and his wife, Diane, after a party at their home following the opening of Bhavsar’s show at Getler/Pall/Saper Gallery. On the back of the canvas is Bhavsar’s signature, and the inscription “for Steven & Diane in friendship.”

MD, 2013

abstract; color theory

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