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Cheson

Gary David Bower

(Dayton, Ohio, 1940 - )

1969

Oil on canvas

92 1/4 in. x 135 in. (234.32 cm x 342.9 cm)

Museum Acquisition Fund

1971.19

More Information

As a young artist working in New York City in the late 1960s, Ohio native Gary Bower came to believe that minimalism, a style of art associated with sleek, geometric forms often based on systemic formulas, had been reduced to “ritualized, progressive steps that were more about production than grappling with the unknown.” He sought to introduce gestural marks into his paintings of repeating, hard-edged shapes. To make Cheson, Bower covered the canvas with several thin layers of paint, rubbing and splattering to achieve varying tones and textures. He then laid out a pattern using tape and applied additional paint layers. After the tape was removed, a grid covered the work’s entire surface, uniting the seemingly disparate characteristics of expression and geometry while highlighting the contrast between them.

Keywords
American
Geometric shapes
Minimalism
Oil painting