Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Untitled (Ramapo Freeze)

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Untitled (Ramapo Freeze)

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Richard Pousette-Dart


Untitled (Ramapo Freeze)

Creation Date


Medium & Support

graphite on paper


22 1/2 x 30 in. (57.15 x 76.2 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of the Richard Pousette-Dart Estate

Accession Number



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Untitled (Ramapo Freeze) is quietly monumental. Harmoniously balanced, multidirectional graphite marks of various lengths and densities fill the entire sheet, up to its beveled edges. They center the viewer’s gaze on a horizon indicated by more forcefully applied clusters of short vertical hatching. A few brief horizontal lines indicate a vertical axis that further acknowledges the viewer’s per­spective. While the eye detects a myriad of graphite traces, the mind sees brilliant light emanating from the drawing. This glow can only be explained as a result of the artist’s deep understanding of the field of vision and his deliberate manipulation of our perception in areas of focus as well as on the periphery. Situated “just on the edge of awareness,” such works effectively evoke an aura that has motivated artists’ forays into abstraction since the early twentieth century. Walter Benjamin called it a “unique appearance of distance, no matter how close,” and Vasily Kandinsky identified it as “particular spiritual sound.’

Portfolios: FEAT|Contemporary Art