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The Phillips Collection

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Paperback, 7.5 x 7.5 in. / 64 pgs / illustrated throughout.

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Catalog: FALL 2010 p. 95   

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ISBN 9780943044361 TRADE
List Price: $24.95 CDN $33.95 GBP £22.00

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Washington, D.C.
The Phillips Collection, 06/05/10-09/12/10

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THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION

Pousette-Dart: Predominantly White Paintings

Foreword by Dorothy Kosinski. Text by David Anfam, Carter Ratcliff.

"A cautionary word: to speak of Pousette-Dart's 'white paintings' may be a misnomer, although it remains a handy phrase for a medley of interrelated pieces. For one thing, the creations in question are not dead white, let alone monotonous. Rather, they are inflected with multifarious rays and other pearly tinctures--either admixed with the principal titanium white pigment, introduced by pencil strokes, smudged and rubber into the paint film or imbued in the gently smoldering grounds and underlayers, surfaces that Pousette-Dart left bare or revealed through marks made with the sharp graphite point and/or the tips of his brush handles therefore, 'predominantly' white is a more accurate description. Behind it lurks a panoply of the lightest gray, turquoise, yellow, ocher, rose, and other suffusions that lend these 'white' images their bejeweled aura."<p>David Anfam excerpted from <a href="9780943044361.html">Pousette-Dart: Predominantly White Paintings</a>, from which this image is reproduced. During the early 1950s, Richard Pousette-Dart (1916-1992) created one of the most anomalous bodies of work of his career: graphite drawings on undercoats of blue or ocher painted over a titanium white ground. For an artist known for his love of color and impasto, these predominantly white paintings constituted quite a departure. Twenty-five works were shown at Betty Parsons Gallery in 1955, in an exhibition titled Predominantly White; the artist returned to mine this vein in later paintings in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

"A cautionary word: to speak of Pousette-Dart's 'white paintings' may be a misnomer, although it remains a handy phrase for a medley of interrelated pieces. For one thing, the creations in question are not dead white, let alone monotonous. Rather, they are inflected with multifarious rays and other pearly tinctures--either admixed with the principal titanium white pigment, introduced by pencil strokes, smudged and rubber into the paint film or imbued in the gently smoldering grounds and underlayers, surfaces that Pousette-Dart left bare or revealed through marks made with the sharp graphite point and/or the tips of his brush handles therefore, 'predominantly' white is a more accurate description. Behind it lurks a panoply of the lightest gray, turquoise, yellow, ocher, rose, and other suffusions that lend these 'white' images their bejeweled aura."

David Anfam excerpted from Pousette-Dart: Predominantly White Paintings, from which this image is reproduced.

Pousette-Dart: Predominantly White Paintings

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FROM THE BOOK
"Not a color, white contains all the other colors this is an idea with no scientific bases, yet it persists, because it works as a metaphor of origins: white as the fertile blankness, the void from which everything is born. For a painter, white is the color of the primed canvas--or it is in modern times. Well into the nineteenth century, canvases were primed with colors, often a mixture of ocher. Sometimes this preparatory surface was quite dark. By 1941, however, when Richard Pousette-Dart had his first solo show in New York, white priming was standard. White had become the emblem—or the site—of possibility, and therefore a challenge. Faced with this expanse of sheer potential, how would the painter respond? What would emerge? What emerges in Pousette-Dart's case was a meditation on white itself, as a symbol, as a color, as an intricate texture. His expanses of white pigment often unfurl across an undercoat of blue or luminous brown—a reversal of the era's standard procedure and characteristic of this endlessly original artist."

Carter Ratcliff, excerpted from The White Paintings of Richard Pousette-Dart in Pousette-Dart: Predominantly White Paintings.

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Pousette-Dart: Predominantly White Paintings

POUSETTE-DART: PREDOMINANTLY WHITE PAINTINGS

Foreword by Dorothy Kosinski. Text by David Anfam, Carter Ratcliff.

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