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Composition

1937 Albert Eugene Gallatin Born: Villanova, Pennsylvania 1881 Died: New York, New York 1952 oil on canvas 12 5/16 x 10 3/16 in. (31.3 x 25.9 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Patricia and Phillip Frost 1986.92.25 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 41A


Luce Center Label

Albert Eugene Gallatin rarely titled his paintings, preferring instead to give them just a number and a date. By doing this, he recorded the progress of his work in the same way a scientist might document a series of experiments. Composition evokes a still life of unidentifiable objects arranged on an oval tabletop. Gallatin overlapped simple shapes and delicate lines to suggest a precarious balance between the forms, as if one nudge might cause the entire structure to topple. The small size of the canvas and muted palette focus our attention on the patterns created by the overlapping shapes.

Keywords

Abstract - geometric

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas