Blue in Space

  • John Ferren, Blue in Space, ca. 1937, pastel on paper mounted on paperboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 1937 John Ferren, Gift of Daisy Shapiro, 1976.130

Exhibition Label
A pioneer of American abstraction, Ferren created this composition during a seven-year sojourn in Paris. He began his career as a sculptor, but turned to painting after he saw an exhibition of work by Henri Matisse and recognized the power of color. In the mid-1930s he worked at Stanley William Hayter’s printmaking workshop in Paris, Atelier 17, where he was encouraged to imprint his engraved and inked plated on wet plaster. When the plaster block dried, it showed the lines of the plate. He then carved into it to create a bas-relief sculpture of modeled and curved planes. Blue in Space resembles one of these carved plasters, translated into two dimensions with the planes defined by the rich colors of soft pastels.

Graphic Masters II: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2009

Title
Blue in Space
Artist
Date
ca. 1937
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
sheet: 19 3/4 x 25 1/2 in. (50.2 x 64.8 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Daisy Shapiro

Mediums
Mediums Description
pastel on paper mounted on paperboard
Classifications
Keywords
  • Abstract
Object Number
1976.130
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

1937
carved, engraved, and hand-painted plaster in wood frame
1934
watercolor on paper mounted on paperboard
1937
color wood engraving on paper
1958
oil on canvas

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n.d.
glass
ca. 1935-1937
oil on canvas
1980
bent and incised steel
1932
gilded bronze on lapis lazuli base