Flight in Space
1968
40" x 50"
Painting, oil on canvas
The other predominant motif in these works is the polygon, the multi-angled form that Shaw had featured prominently in his works
of the 1930s. Then, he had used the polygon architecturally, relating it to the skyscrapers and profiles of New York City. In the 1960s, Shaw used the polygon more freely. Flight in Space (1968) has the quality of a soaring jet plane, taking off. Yet the work’s one-leggedness instills a sense of unsteadiness. The yellow polygon at the center seems caught between movement and gravity.

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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