Barnett Newman (American, New York 1905–1970 New York)

Oil and masking tape on canvas
H. 89-3/4, W. 53-5/8 inches (228 x 136.2 cm.)
Credit Line:
George A. Hearn Fund, 1968
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Description

    In 1948 Barnett Newman began painting in a new and unique format. Abandoning the use of various other abstract elements on the canvas, Newman instead laid down one or more vertical bands, usually with the help of masking tape. These "zips," as he came to call them, become the organizing principle behind the work, the decisive elements that structure the entire picture.

    Concord was painted during Newman's most prolific year. He exhibited the painting in his first solo exhibition at Betty Parsons Gallery in 1950, which was installed with the help of his friend, Mark Rothko. Concord's green layer of paint is uncharacteristically brushy, and it was perhaps with its atmospheric wash in mind that Newman titled the picture after the town famous for Henry David Thoreau's Walden, where he and his wife, Annalee, had honeymooned fourteen years earlier.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: Signed (lower right): Barnett Newman 1949

  • Provenance

    [Betty Parsons Gallery, New York]

  • Exhibition History

    New York: Betty Parsons Gallery, ¦Barnett Newman¦, January 23-February 11, 1950.

    Bennington, Vermont: New Gallery, Bennington College, ¦Barnett Newman: First Retrospective Exhibition¦, May 4-24, 1958. Catalogue with texts by Clement Greenberg and E.C. Goossen.

    New York: The Museum of Modern Art, ¦The New American Painting: As Shown in Eight European Countries, 1958 - 1959¦, 1959. Illus. p. 61.

    New York: American Federation of Arts Gallery, April 29 - May 18, 1963. ¦The Educational Alliance, Retrospective Art Exhibition¦. illus.

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, ¦The Decisive Years, 1943 - 1953¦, January 14 - March 1, 1965; listed in checklist, n.p.; not illustrated

    São Paulo, Brazil: ¦VIII Bienial do Museu de Arte Moderna¦, The United States of America Pavilion, Sept. 4- Nov. 28, 1965.

    Washington, DC: National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, ¦Eighth São Paulo Biennial¦, January 27 - March 6, 1966. No. 1, illus. in color.

    New York: Finch College Museum of Art, ¦Betty Parsons' Private Collection¦, March 13 - April 24, 1968.

    New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, ¦New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940 - 1970¦, October 9, 1969 - February 8, 1970. No. 264, illus. in color pg. 94.

    Boston, Massachussettes: Boston Museum of Fine Arts, ¦Masterpiece of Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art¦, September 16 - November 1, 1970.

    New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, ¦Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries¦, November 10, 1970 - February 14, 1971. Not listed in catalogue.

    New York: Museum of Modern Art, ¦Barnett Newman¦, October 21, 1971 - January 10, 1972. No. 11

    Lincoln, Massachusettes: De Cordova and Dava Museum and Park, ¦Henry David Thoureau as a Source for Artistic Inspiration¦, June 6 - September 9, 1984.

    Buffalo, New York: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, ¦Abstract Expressionism: The Critical Developments¦, September 19, 1987 - November 29, 1987.

    New York: Pace Gallery, ¦Barnett Newman¦, April 8 - May 7, 1988.

  • References

    Albright Knox- Art Gallery, Abstract Expressionism: The Critical Development. Harry N. Abrams, Inc, 1987. P. 215, cat. #48, (color illus.).

    Rosenberg, Harold. Barnett Newman, New York: 1978, p. 67 (illustrated #33, p. 66)

    Metropolitan Museum of Art, Notable Acquisitions: 1965 - 1975. 1975.

    Hess, Thomas B. Barnett Newman. The Museum of Modern Art, 1971, pp. 65-66.

    Reports of the Departments, 1968 - 1969: Contemporary Arts, in MMA Bulletin, N.S., vol. XXVIII, 1969 (Oct.), p. 63 (mentioned), p. 63 (illus.).

    Temkin, Ann. "Barnett Newman on Exhibition," in Barnett Newman. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2002, p. 37, mentioned and ill. in color.

  • See also