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Untitled  -  Three Bars in Umber, Blue & Gold

Bisttram, Emil

Untitled - Three Bars in Umber, Blue & Gold

mixed media on paper

1998 Purchase funded by The Collectors Club

Emil Bisttram was a co-founder of the Transcendental Painting Group and a dedicated teacher who promoted Taos, New Mexico as a regional art center. The Transcendental Painting Group was formed in 1939 and helped support Bisttram's ideal -- to explore the universal and spiritual potential of non-objective painting. A "classic modernist", Bisttram's work progressed from realism to abstraction, revealing the influence of Wassily Kandinsky and mysticism. Bisttram believed the terms "abstract" and "non-objective" did not apply to his work. He preferred the term "transcendental" to describe his effort to move painting from the physical world to a spiritual and contemplative realm. His precise compositions emphasized the mathematic proportions of circles, rectangles and triangles. "Untitled: Three Bars in Umber, Blue and Gold" contains colorful, hard-edge geometric shapes that overlap to create an illusion of translucency and depth.