Acrylic on canvas
Unframed: 267 x 48.3 cm (105 1/8 x 19 in.)
Gift of Louis D. Kacalieff, M.D. 1986.154
© Estate of Jules Olitski / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
On occasion Olitski experimented with unusually shaped canvases, such as this tall and narrow example.
In order to create the many diaphanous and interpenetrating layers of color in First Move, Olitski used spray guns powered by air compressors to apply the paint. This method effectively eliminated such compositional elements as shape and outline, which are traditional in the history of painting. However, the artist attached masking tape to the upper border of this canvas, sprayed additional colors, and then removed the tape - thereby breaking the uniformity of the surface.
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