Curled Figure Study XIX
Not on view
Acrylic and graphite pencil on canvas
Overall: 36 1/4 × 84 1/8in. (92.1 × 213.7 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Postwar Committee
Rights and reproductions
© Robert Mangold / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
When Robert Mangold painted Curled Figure Study XIX, he was producing compositions limited to four basic elements: the ring shape, the curled line, the column, and so-called column structures. Here, the curled double line is traced in a pattern crossing the two congruent panels—an extension which binds the two halves together into a single, flowing graphic element. Mangold has long conceived of his paintings through drawings, and most of his painted surfaces, including Curled Figure Study XIX, contain passages of hand-drawn graphite. But Mangold does not use these lines in a naturalistic or representational manner, instead preferring—as was the case for a number of artists of his generation, including Sol LeWitt and Robert Ryman—to create simple forms that refer only to themselves.