ARTISTS / Art after 1945
Robert Mangold

© Robert Mangold / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Robert Mangold


Oil, sprayed on wood

on the reverse signed, dated and inscribed
(MangolR/M 1)

view in room
view in room
signed, dated and inscribed on verso: "1/6 GRAY-GREEN AREA CIRCLE 48'' × 48'' R. Mangold 1966".
Literature: E. de Wilde (et al.), fundamentele schilderkunst / fundamental painting, stedelijk museum amsterdam 1975, Amsterdam 1975, pp. 34-37; Robert Mangold, Schilderijen / Paintings 1964-1982, Amsterdam 1982, no. 55.

In the summer of 1965, Robert Mangold painted sketches of the negative space between the mountains in upstate New York. The artist translated these outlines into regular geometric forms. He prevented any association with the landscape, however, by selecting neutral colors from factory sources-such as gray paper bags or office supplies-and applying them in a single, even matte, even impure or unsaturated layer that allowed for minimal color gradients. He sprayed the oil paint with a spray gun onto the industrially prefabricated wooden ground, which gave him a pastel effect. In this, Mangold's art shows itself to be unique. Around 1966/67 he created a series of "Circle-Part-Paintings", which are intended to demonstrate the idea of the fragment in terms of the whole (the circle). By dominating the vertical division of the painting into individual panel segments, Mangold counteracts the illusion of depth and draws attention to the physical support of the work. Line and form enter into a direct relationship - the factual interior line corresponds with the line of the framing aluminum strip. For all their presence as objects in their own right, these images encourage the viewer to mentally expand the curves on either side and dissolve them into a closed circle. Of the work shown here with a sixth of a circle segment, there is also a work from the same period and twice the size, now in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Of the variance, Mangold commented, "I found it quite confusing for a while that a lot of painters ... who were constantly talking about dimensional relationships were working with extremely large formats ..., to me that seemed very problematic - you know, if they were already constantly talking about dimensional relationships, why were they working exclusively in large formats? ... Probably I wanted to find out two things: First, is there such a thing as an optimal image size, and, once I solved that, does a certain size have a different message than another? The other thing I was interested in was, what happens when you repeat?" The artist has held on to the idea of segmentation and proportionality of size since the mid-1960s until today.
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