September 24, 2013

A New Painting: "Untitled (Red, Pink), for Popova"

Untitled (Red, Pink) for Popova, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 9 x 5 7/8 in. 

This painting, or to be more specific the colors and shapes of this painting, were inspired by the Russian artist Liubov Popova, who was part of the Suprematist group of artists and later a Constructivist. About twenty years ago the Museum of Modern Art mounted an exhibition of her work, and I've carried my admiration of it for all these years. 

Liubov Popova, Painterly Architectonic, 1917; oil on canvas, 31 1/2 x 38 5/8 in. 

I particularly love her series of Painterly Architectonics, with their dynamic overlapping shapes and sometimes surprising colors. For me, her use of red and pink is nervy and exhilarating. My use of a pink ground with red triangular shapes of folded cloth come from a desire to pay an homage to this painting.

Pink Triangle (for Popova), 2006; hand dyed wool on linen, 12 x 10 in.

It's not the first time I've done so: several years ago I did a textile as an homage. Now that I am using cloth as a still life material for painting, I came back to the theme. 

Untitled (Red, Pink) for Popova, detail

Looking at both painting and textile, I think the textile is more successful. I could whine a little about how difficult it was to get a good photograph of the painting, and how much better it looks in person (which I believe it does), but I'm not sure that the poignant quality that I felt while painting this image, like something left or dropped unheedingly, is evident; or if the painting stands successfully on its own. Maybe one day I'll try the red/pink theme again.


  1. I like the energy-tension this piece has. The large fold catches my eye which immediately went to the edge-looking to see if it went off. Almost did! My eye then traveled along the lower edge to study the shaded folds. If you wanted a piece that has energy- I for one feel you obtained you goal.