Oil on masonite
23 1/2 x 35 1/2 inches

Born in Savannah, Sewell Sillman initially studied architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Bristling at the university’s constrictive environment, in 1948 he enrolled in Black Mountain College’s architectural program, led by Buckminster Fuller. College director Josef Albers’s progressive teaching, especially in color theory, inspired Sillman to change course and become an artist. Enthralled by the possibilities of color, Sillman repeatedly produced strikingly similar geometric compositions with varied color arrangements, as seen in this example. And although this iteration of the theme may suggest a door or portal, color is Sillman’s true subject. As cool colors recede and warm colors advance, Sillman is able to create the illusion of depth in a two-dimensional painting.

Other works by this artist