November 23, 2012

A New Cardboard Print: "Three Purple Shapes", With Help From Popova

Three Purple Shapes, ink on Akatosashi paper; image size 10 x 12 in., paper size 18 1/2 x 22 1/2 in.; 
ed 4

Although this image is contained within the rectangle of the cardboard plate, the print appears to be of free floating shapes.

Cropped to just the image, it's easier to see the rectangle. I had a bit of a hard time working out the composition for this piece. Here is the initial study:

As you can see, I originally had the design entirely within the rectangle. I did several sketches, moving the angles here and there, up and down, but was never comfortable with the results. Then I thought to look at my catalog of of the work of the Russian constructivist Liubov Popova....

Liubov Popova, Pictorial Architectonic, 1916-17; oil on canvas, 41 1/2 x 27 3/4 in. artist I greatly admire, who I wrote about in this blog post. Looking at her work allowed me to free myself from the confines of the rectangle and think about overlapping shapes, think about shaking loose from an expected format.


  1. I like the negative-space triangles at the bottom and left edges.

    Popova is very cool -- love those 1910s Russians!

    1. thanks, Michael. Popova is great, and Malevich too.

  2. Wow: that initial study sure is dynamic!

    1. thanks, Julie. I rarely show studies because they always look so energetic compared to finished work. ?That was done on a alternate-type paper that was very smooth and non absorbent.