Staff Pick | Monthly Muse December 2020
It may not look it, but this shapely geometric abstraction carries a secret wish. Oskar Fischinger gifted Abstraction (Spheres) to his friend, art dealer Frank Perls, on December 28, 1951, requesting, as written in a note attached to the back of the work, that he “accept the square painting with the red ball as a Christmas present.” What resonates with me about this gift is the statement it makes about the evocative power of art.
Fischinger’s use of form—his dancing orbs that seem to thread between one another like planets in orbit or scattering billiard balls—balances a textured color field with harmonic movement. Yet, the brilliant, glassy red that colors the foremost sphere suggests none other than the ubiquitous ornamentation that crowns the edges of evergreen trees and their plastic facsimiles each winter. I enjoy Fischinger’s lighthearted jest, to see in his deft arrangement of geometry and color contrast the simple pleasure of a merry pun.
Curatorial and Research Associate, IMCA