Analyzing Onement VI – The Painting That Created Ripples In the Art World

Dec 23, 13

Barnett Newman was a celebrated American artist in the world of abstract expressionism. He departed earth in 1970 but has recently hit headlines again with the sale of his painting Onement VI at a recent Sotheby auction.

$43.8 million. That’s how much a secret buyer spent on acquiring Onement VI. A lot of money, you say? We don’t know what to make of it. At first glance, the painting only has a rich hue of blue all over it with a vertical white line at the center. But there seems to be more to it.

Barnett-Newman-and-Onement-VI-in-the-artist's-studio-New-York-1961 (2)

This is how Sotheby’s describes the painting:

Newman overwhelms and seduces the viewer with the totality of its sensual, cascading washes of vibrant blue coexisting with Newman’s vertical “Sign” of the human presence, his iconic and revolutionary ‘zip’.”

True, the ‘zip’ has played an integral part in most paintings by Newman. And his paintings deviate from contemporary visual representations by most painters. He chose an artistic path that was less tread and leads the viewer on a path to open interpretation regarding his painting.

So what exactly do we think of the painting? We have several interpretations as well but let’s just say we loved the way the painting looks despite being simplistic in nature. Newman probably spent a lot of months to get the desired visual impact and he succeeds in generating the right amount of curiosity in the viewer’s mind. After all, that’s what abstract paintings are all about.

While you think about this painting, we would also like to draw your attention to our Year End Sale on digitizing and vector art. Get in touch with us and we will give you some quality deals for your artwork requirements.

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