Natvar Bhavsar (American, born India, 1934)
Acrylic on muslin–coated paper; 46 x 42 in. (116.8 x 106.7 cm)
George A. Hearn Fund, 1977 (1977.73)
Bhavsar was born in Gujarat and now lives and New York City. Today he is known for his experiments in color, but his earliest work was figural, based on a cross between Indian miniatures and Cubism. The transformation to an abstract painter occurred during his graduate studies in the United States in the 1960s, when he was much influenced by the color-field painters working at the time. He began to work in their style, but quickly distinguished himself with the invention of his own painting process. This involves soaking the canvas with a clear liquid binder and then sifting a layer of dry pigment onto the canvas, repeating until the composition is finished. In this manner, he applies as many as eighty layers to a canvas. This painting thus explores the emotive and symbolic possibilities of the color yellow.