Richard Pousette-Dart

American, 1916–1992

Untitled, 1978

Acrylic and pencil on paper

22 x 30 inches

Pousette-Dart’s father was a painter, writer, and art critic, and his mother was a poet and musician. Together they encouraged their son’s talents and interests in art. He briefly attended Bard College before pursuing a full-time career as an artist in New York. After working in a variety of media and styles—sculpture, collage, cubism, surrealism—Pousette-Dart became a founding member of the New York School of painters. His work was similar to contemporaries such as Jackson Pollock and Williams Baziotes in its abstract design, spontaneous brushstrokes, and dripping techniques.

In the 1970s Pousette-Dart embarked on a series of works on paper using short, expressive lines in graphite and white paint. The result is an explosion of form that represents the artist’s search for spirituality. In the present piece, shallow indentations etched into the white paint are reminiscent of Pousette-Dart’s gestural works of his abstract expressionist years, while the graphic and minimal style draws comparisons to op-art, minimalism, and color field painting.