Barnett Newman - Onement vi 1953

it must first be understood that Jung was to the abstract expressionists what Freud was to the surrealists. there are ideas which inform each movement and they are displayed, literally, in their work.

with this work by newman we have a meditation on the nature of the collective, an exaltation of the universal. the surrealists had a solipsistic reaching into the bowels of the mind, a fixation on the individual’s cogitations. here, we find onement.

the work appears to be minimalistic. this is strategic. the superfluous is annihilated. the canvas is reduced to it’s most basic, the essential- making the work more accessible. in fact, it takes the work to the most accessible place, a place with an existance before the intervention of language and the complications and divisons it created.

the work is a white flag. it’s understanding put forth in a vision. it’s a celebration of the human capacity for empathy, compassion, cohesion.

it’s the universal. it’s unity. it’s onement


Growing - Onement



Happy Birthday Barnett Newman, who would have been 111 today. “I hope that my painting has the impact of giving someone, as it did me, the feeling of his own totality, of his own separateness, of his own individuality.” Pictured above: Onement VI, 1953 // Oil on canvas // 102 x 120 in.

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Barnett Newman painting auctioned $43m

A large 1953 painting by abstract expressionist artist Barnett Newman has sold for $US43.8 million at a New York City auction, setting an auction record for his work.

Sotheby’s said on Tuesday the record price for Onement VI, includes the buyer’s premium.

The painting is the last of six in Newman’s Onement series. They’re characterised by what’s called the zip, a distinctive stripe running down the center of the canvas. Four are in museum collections.

Onement V, sold at auction last year for $US22.4 million, the artist’s previous auction record.

Newman was an exhibitions organiser of the newly opened Betty Parson Gallery in 1946. He played a vital role in the careers of Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and others. He also influenced the next generation of artists including Frank Stella.

Newman died in 1970.