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Artist
Esteban Vicente
Title
Untitled #53
Date
1972
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
Canvas: 32 × 28 inches (81.3 × 71.1 cm)Framed: 32 3/4 × 28 5/8 × 1 5/8 inches (83.2 × 72.7 × 4.1 cm)
Tags
Painting
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Dwight H. Emanuelson.
Accession Number
1981.13.2
Untitled #53 is one of Vicente’s most haunting works. Its limited palette of softly diffused, spray-painted blues and brownish-grays speaks of the profound austerity and simplicity of the Spanish masters he revered—Francisco de Zurbarán, Diego Velázquez, and Francisco de Goya—while its architectonic play of vertical and horizontal rectilinear forms is radically twentieth century, acknowledging analytic cubism’s engagement with the plane, picture surface, and framing edge as the basic units of pictorial structure.
Concerned throughout his working life with the interplay of color and light, the material facts of pigment, and the transformative power of feeling, Vicente liked to describe his paintings as “interior landscapes.” Here, as the picture’s intimate scale suggests, Vicente arrives, through deliberately unembellished means, at a richly intuitive statement of classic sublimity and timeless calm.