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Abstraction: Blue, Yellow and Green by Marsden Hartley

Abstraction: Blue, Yellow and Green, 1913

Marsden Hartley

This composition of overlapping planes is one of Hartley’s first abstract works. Influenced by the color theories of his contemporaries Kandinsky and Klee, here he uses primary and secondary hues, with black and some white brushed in to give the flat shapes a sense of volume. He juxtaposes primary colors: red, yellow, and green in the center with blue added above, applied in thick strokes to create a rough, heavily worked surface. It’s possible this painting isn’t completely abstract; you could imagine this as components of a landscape abstracted into geometric and irregular shapes.

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Credit
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
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