Michael Heizer
Untitled No. 5, 1974

Aged 20 in 1965, Michael Heizer moved to New York where he began working on large-format abstract-geometric paintings. He sprayed car lacquer on chipboards or painted canvases with polyvinyl latex paint which he often mixed with aluminum powder to achieve luminescence. Linearity, regularity, simplification and perfection are the fundamental structural principles of Heizer’s second-period paintings which include Untitled No. 5 owned by the Daimler Art Collection. The large panel format constitutes a reciprocal opposition of monochromatic, symmetric figure and pale background, causing the inner field and the surrounding frame to engage in a competitive relationship. The colored area defines the colorless frame which, in turn, is given a second circumferential line by the outer edges of the canvas. As a result, the red field appears to be detached and hovering, creating the effect of spatial depth – a phenomenon which was prepared by American Abstract Expressionists. Consequently, Heizer’s Untitled No. 5 synthesizes moments of minimalist sculptural evidence with criteria of a sublime and universal form created by abstract painterly means.

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