Dorothea Rockburne. Golden Section Painting: Square Separated by Parallelogram. August 1974

Dorothea Rockburne Golden Section Painting: Square Separated by Parallelogram August 1974

  • Not on view

The Golden Section is a mathematical ratio also sometimes called the “divine proportion” owing to its presence in natural structures, from the spiral shape of a seashell to the human body. Many artists and architects have applied this principle over the centuries—it appears, for example, in both ancient Greek temples and Renaissance paintings—and Rockburne planned the Golden Section Paintings around it, while maintaining her interest in the physical manipulation of materials. To make these works, she coated large sheets of linen with white gesso on one side and clear varnish on the other, clearly demarcating front from back. They were then measured, cut, and folded along lines determined by the Golden Section. Rockburne would repurpose the structural configurations of this series for many subsequent bodies of work, including the Copal, Vellum Curve, and Angel series.

Gallery label from Dorothea Rockburne: Drawing Which Makes Itself, September 21, 2013–January 20, 2014.
Medium
Gesso and pencil on sized, glued, and folded linen
Dimensions
64 3/8" x 8' 8 1/2" (163.6 x 265.5 cm)
Credit
Purchased with the aid of funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and an anonymous donor
Object number
1353.1974
Copyright
© 2022 Dorothea Rockburne / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Department
Painting and Sculpture

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