Robert Mangold (b. 1937)
Property from the Collection of Melva Bucksbaum
Robert Mangold (b. 1937)

Plane/Figure Series G (Double Panel), Study

Details
Robert Mangold (b. 1937)
Plane/Figure Series G (Double Panel), Study
signed, titled and dated 'R. Mangold 1994 Plane/Figure Series G Study Double Panel' (on the reverse of each element)
acrylic and graphite on two joined canvases
42 x 49 in. (106.7 x 124.5 cm.)
Executed in 1994.
Provenance
PaceWildenstein, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1995
Literature
Robert Mangold: Recipient of the Alexej von Jawlensky-Award. Paintings and Drawings 1984, exh. cat., Museum Wiesbaden, 1998, p. 208, no. 902.

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Alex Berggruen
Alex Berggruen

Lot Essay

Plane/Figure Series G (Double Panel) is an exceptional example of Robert Mangold’s double paneled works, which the artist believed to be a peak in his practice. “In looking at it now,” he said in his studio notes, “I have a feeling that the work is extraordinary” (R. Mangold, quoted in N. Princenthal, “A Survey of the Paintings,” in A. C. Danto et al., Robert Mangold, London 2000, p. 263). Comprising of two connected canvases, one painted a rich, but subtle purple and the other a neutral gray, it depicts two elliptical forms in graphite, which meet each other as though in a state of suspended motion. Tranquil and gnomic, these pebble-like shapes are drawn both under and above the background paint, embedding them within the color fields.

Although from a distance the painting appears harmonious, discordances emerge at close quarters. The purple canvas is noticeably narrower than the gray. The two ovaloids touch at an almost symmetrical angle, creating a slight skew within the picture plane. And Mangold’s use of a roller–a notoriously challenging implement–gives his surface a rich patina, with a varied deepness of color, speckled dots and the specter of his movement. During the 1990s, Mangold began using the phrase “Painting as Wall” to describe his works, conceptualizing them as presences that imposed themselves on a wall, almost akin to an architectural feature. “I realized,” he explained, “what painting’s unique reality was: neither object nor window. It existed in the space in between” (R. Mangold, quoted in S. O. Mangold, “An Interview with Robert Mangold,” ibid. p. 60).
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