Opened Circle
1970
39.5" x 32"
Painting, oil on canvas
In many of the canvases, Shaw used the circle—long a symbol of the sun, eternity, wholeness and inWnity—to explore ways of seeing. His most basic treatment of this subject is Opened Circle (1970) where the work consists of two yellow half circles with a space between them, but our eyes complete the form, so that what we see instead is a full circle.

Spanierman Gallery, LLC
New York, NY

About the Artist
(1892 - 1974)
During his successful painting career, which spanned four decades of modernism, Charles Green Shaw skillfully explored several abstract idioms. A native New Yorker, Shaw’s early work was in writing; in the 1920s he contributed to publications including the New Yorker and Vanity Fair. During travels to Europe from 1929 to 1932, he gained first-hand experience with new developments in modern art, and began to devote himself to painting. By 1940, Shaw had developed the idea of the “plastic polygon,” a pictorial structure based on simplified architectonic and organic shapes combined with a Cubist grid. Shaw worked with variants of this concept in painting and in wood relief constructions. With the exception of a few depictions of simplified, angular figures in the late 1940s, Shaw’s work remained essentially nonrepresentational for the rest of his career.

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