Barnett Newman - dear abstractionist

Barnett Newman – a prominent representative of the American division of abstract art. He was born in 1905 in new York. Is also common other spelling of his last name: Newman. In English sources it is known as the Barnett Newman.

How many paintings are preserved

By the way, the artist Barnett Newman destroyed all their early paintings, about forty years of labour were crossed out and, unfortunately, not a stroke of the brush. So today, speaking about the work of Newman, the researchers assort exclusively to “survivor” paintings of the late period in the amount of 120 pieces, comply in the time frame of almost twenty-five years.

Stages of development

His parents were immigrants from Poland, Jews by birth. Painting young Barnett Newman studied at the Art Students League, also known as the Art students League. This creative period is characterized by experiments in the style of automatism of Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman then draws the graphics, and he goes into the picture plane with the surrealist trends. It is noteworthy that at the same time he created an art school, together with such figures of the American twentieth century painting, like Rothko, Motherwell and Baziotes.

It's time to open

the First personal exhibition, which was presented exclusively to the paintings of Barnett Newman, was literally trashed of art critics articles. The result was a prolonged depression and an unwillingness to show their work to the public, to cope with what the artist could only eight years later, when he decided to exhibit a retrospective of existing work. In addition, in that period, Newman destroyed all of his early works, so it's safe to say that he was not only demanding of himself a master of the brush, but also vulnerable.
Most famous work of Barnett Newman paintings, written in the period from 1947 to 1970. Is paintings, named in the pathetic vein, telling of pointless world solely by the movement of the brush. "the Commandment" of the “Unity”, “the Abyss of Euclid”, “Midnight blue" and other works of abstract artist today are private collections, including the collection of the artist's family and exhibited in several museums in the United States. The Museum of modern art in new York has probably the most complete collection covering various periods of the artist's life.

Manner Newman

Critics consider it to representatives of the American abstract expressionism. Such prominent theorist as Clement Greenberg, gave this painting literally sticking to the definition of field painting that clearly shows the difference between a created in a linear style of automatism and sparkling with bright colors and large planes of Rothko and Newman. “the Painting of Paul" alludes not to the pastoral landscape, and characterizes the love of two masters to a solid large horizontal planes in their works. The researchers felt that this style has a strong philosophical subtext, and is presented on the canvas border colours really nothing to share, and so is painting, proclaiming one of the main American principles – freedom.


Inspired by Barnett Newman (painter) drew on his philosophical values. In 1947, he proclaimed the highest goal of any art-not to be short-term, to refer to mythic concepts: life, death, man and nature. Complex names given to paintings emphasized the palette of feelings and emotions that the artist was trying to convey only one color in the non-objective world. Unfortunately, the art critics were able to appreciate this approach much later.

How to look at paintings Newman

among artists and art lovers there is an unspoken rule: to get a General impression about the painting, it is necessary to depart from it by a distance equal to its height. A similar principle was followed from the middle ages to the Renaissance and many after, however, Barnett Newman insisted that his paintings should be seen only at close range. What gives this approach? The effect of immersing the viewer into a world of colorful fields. Later, new York's master even begun to post the instructions on how you need to look at his paintings, directly into exhibitions.

Expensive to purchase

that was not accepted by his contemporaries, until a late period of his work, appreciated later on and especially in our time. Paintings by American masters of abstract art periodically pop up at the most prominent auctions including the famous auction Sotheby's. One of them, pushed under the hammer in recent times, was estimated at $ 30 million.
And at the same time the artist's work, not all causes only positive emotions. The work of Barnett Newman Onement VI, some called one of the most worthless and disgusting objects ever to go for auction. Price for a painting at the last sale in 2013, at Sotheby's totaled more than 43 million dollars, the work was a large canvas, filled in with blue paint with a vertical, flat enough strip.

Creation refers to the so-called lightning in contrast to horizontal «the fields». The total size of the working - 2.6 x 3 m.
Barnett Newman “Light Anna” dedicated to his deceased mother. Strictly speaking, this thing is a horizontal canvas of impressive size, filled with Carmine-red paint. In 2013, the “masterpiece” also was auctioned and was sold for the sum of 106 (!) of millions of dollars.

on the technical side, the painting is remarkable that Newman had to contend with the luminous power of the red color, taking the extra brightness from the translucent white of primed canvas. Several layers of red paint stripped the color of this quality, and made him “deaf” and “grieving" for what, according to the artist, he needs to be in this situation.