Barnett Newman Drawings and Prints/ Barnett Newman
Barnett Newman (1905–70) famously strove to create an art of “pure idea” that would strip away narrative, figuration and extraneous detail from painting. By 1948 he had arrived at his signature format--painted color fields bisected by vertical “zips.” Though he is best known for his Abstract Expressionist-cum-minimalist paintings in this vein, Newman also made drawings throughout his career and began making prints in 1961. Newman’s graphic work clarifies the artist’s long quest to represent his “pure idea” while also revealing an experimental, even playful, side to the artist which is rarely glimpsed in the serious, minimal language of his paintings. Barnett Newman: Drawings and Prints celebrates Newman’s achievements in the graphic arts through the holdings of the Prints Department of the Kunstmuseum Basel, and is the first publication to provide an overview of the artist’s entire print oeuvre.