Central Density

Media - 1975.116 - SAAM-1975.116_1 - 45173
Copied Werner Drewes, Central Density, 1973, oil on canvas, 39 3433 34 in. (10185.8 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1975.116

Artwork Details

Central Density
39 3433 34 in. (10185.8 cm)
lower left in oil: DREWES lower right in oil: T (symbol) 3 frame verso upper left in felt-tipped pen and ink: DREWES back upper left in felt-tippe pen and ink: 1238 (in a square) / 7 (peace symbol) 3
Credit Line
Museum purchase
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Nonrepresentational
  • Abstract — geometric
Object Number

Artwork Description

Werner Drewes experimented with printmaking his entire life, but considered himself primarily a painter. In Central Density the diagonal lines create a sense of depth, leading from the edges of the canvas to a converging point in the center. The composition evokes mirrors placed at different angles, reflecting and refracting chunks of colored light. It is easy to imagine getting lost in this maze of color, because we cannot tell what is "real" and what is a reflection.

Luce Object Quote
"I am a painter and in love with color and its many tonalities." Werner Drewes, Woodcuts, National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, 1969