Lacquer on fiberglass
221 cm x 518.2 cm (87 in. x 204 in.)
Gift of Lannan Foundation, 1999
An important figure among abstract painters working in New York in the late 1960s, David Novros has questioned painting’s relationship to architecture for more than thirty years. Influenced by centuries-old mosaic and fresco traditions, he has created site-specific works, explored expansive scale and unusually durable surfaces, and investigated the “objectness” of painting-its capacity to be a thing in itself, rather than just a representation of something. Along with others of his generation, Novros experimented with the unconventional effects of industrial materials on shaped canvases that departed from the usual square or rectangular format. One of Novros’s first paintings on fiberglass, this untitled work blurs the distinctions between painting and sculpture, and emphasizes the work’s architectural presence on the wall and in the gallery. The work’s six L-shaped sections fit together to make a tight wall grouping. The right-angled shapes echo the surrounding architecture of the gallery, suggesting the dynamism of corners more than the flat planes of walls. Each section is painted a single rich hue of lacquer mixed with Murano, an iridescent pigment that causes the pearlescent colors to shift as viewers move before them. This changing palette of jewel-like colors rewards movement along the work’s imposing seventeen-foot expanse.