The flatness and linearity of the composition by Charles Biederman is contrasted with bold and vivid hues

Charles Biederman

American, 1906–2004

Untitled, New York, November 1935, 1935

Oil on canvas

33 x 27 inches

Signed and dated at lower left

After studying in Cleveland and Chicago, Biederman traveled to Paris, where he befriended leading abstract and cubist artists of the time, such as Piet Mondrian, Constantin Brancusi, Hans Arp, Joan Miró, and Fernand Léger, who was a particularly strong influence. He returned to the United States in 1934, and over the next two years produced a body of work that would inspire countless American artists in the decades to follow. Echoes of Biederman’s art can be found in the work of Alexander Calder and Willem de Kooning, among others.

The present work was completed during this prolific period. The flatness and linearity of the composition is contrasted with bold and vivid hues. While largely nonrepresentational, the unusual shapes and forms recall Picasso’s surrealist-inspired works of the late 1920s, with their amorphous and abstract bodies.

The flatness and linearity of the composition by Charles Biederman is contrasted with bold and vivid hues