Charmion von Wiegand

American, 1896–1983

Study for Chinese Horoscope, 1960

Gouache and paper

26 x 18 inches

The daughter of a newspaper correspondent, von Wiegand traveled widely at an early age. While undergoing psychoanalysis in 1926, she uncovered her desire to become an artist and began to practice painting while working as a journalist. She was active in avant-garde circles of New York and made the acquaintance of many artists and intellectuals who furthered her interest in art. In 1941 she met Piet Mondrian, who encouraged von Wiegand to consider painting more seriously and devote her attention to abstraction.

Study for Chinese Horoscope is a starkly geometric composition based on the grid designs of Mondrian. While the simple palette references her mentor, it may also represent elements of the Chinese zodiac, reflecting von Wiegand’s search for spiritual enlightenment through painting.