Three Discs

  • Adolph Gottlieb, Three Discs, 1960, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., 1969.47.14

Exhibition Label

In 1957, the year the circular Russian satellite Sputnik was launched, Gottlieb began a series of paintings he called “bursts,” in which circles hover above calligraphic brushstrokes to suggest the existence of polarities in nature and life. It was the culmination of ideas about art that he and painter Mark Rothko articulated in a letter to the New York Times in 1943: “We favor the simple expression of the complex thought. We are for the large shape because it has the impact of the unequivocal….There is no such thing as good painting about nothing. . . . . The subject is crucial and only that subject-matter is valid which is tragic and timeless.”


Modern Masters: Midcentury Abstraction from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2008

Title
Three Discs
Artist
Date
1960
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
72 x 89 7/8 in. (183.0 x 228.4 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Abstract
Object Number
1969.47.14
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

ca. 1941-1946
linoleum cut on paper
1936
oil on canvas
1966
screenprint on paper
1969
screenprint on paper

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