About this artwork
Relief exemplifies Charles Green Shaw’s conviction that a work of art did not require a subject to evoke an aesthetic response. Composed of a cascading arrangement of biomorphic forms, this striking wood construction conveys the compositional balance and rhythm that Shaw, an early member of the American Abstract Artists group, sought in his nonobjective works. Equally important, Relief is neither a painting nor a sculpture, but rather a hybrid of the two. The wood pieces enter the viewer’s space even as the work remains attached to the wall, the traditional realm of painting. Relief can therefore be seen as part of the ongoing modernist endeavor to challenge the two-dimensionality of the picture plane.
- Charles Green Shaw
- United States
- Painted wood relief
- Signed and dated on verso: Charles G. Shaw 1937
- 121.9 × 152.4 cm (48 × 60 in.)
- Through prior acquisition of the George F. Harding Collection