"The present contains nothing more than the past and what is found in the effect was already in the cause."--Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution, 1907. From the series Great Ideas of Western Man.

  • Edgard Pillet, "The present contains nothing more than the past and what is found in the effect was already in the cause."--Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution, 1907. From the series Great Ideas of Western Man., 1966, acrylic, epoxy: relief cast and painted, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Container Corporation of America, 1984.124.238

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Edgard Pillet created this piece for the advertising campaign “Great Ideas of Western Man” for the Container Corporation of America. The arrangement of lines and geometric shapes evokes a modern cityscape. A large circle floats above the “city,” inside which a complex pattern of smaller circles resembles the inner workings of a machine. Pillet evokes the image of a clockwork universe, suggesting that the present is simply an outcome of processes that were set in motion before history.

Title
"The present contains nothing more than the past and what is found in the effect was already in the cause."--Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution, 1907. From the series Great Ideas of Western Man.
Artist
Date
1966
Location
Dimensions
41 1/4 x 27 1/2 x 2 1/2 in. (104.8 x 70.0 x 6.3 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Container Corporation of America

Mediums
Mediums Description
acrylic, epoxy: relief cast and painted
Classifications
Keywords
  • Abstract – geometric
  • Abstract
Object Number
1984.124.238
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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