Lee Bontecou’s Untitled

Blog post by Katielynn Canavan

Lee Bontecou’s Untitled, 1966

Lee Bontecou’s piece known as Untitled was created in 1966 to represent emotion and space exploration. This piece is made of paint, fiberglass and leather on a metal framework of an old bed frame. Black velvet is laid across the canvas back to portray an atmosphere of drama and depth.

Bontecou’s use of three-dimensional space allows the forms to protrude from all sides of the canvas. This technique directs the viewer’s eye around the whole piece. A sense of movement and direction has been composed by a variety of organic and geometric shapes. The placement of the forms and the choice of paint creates multiple layers of depth and direction. As the eye moves across the piece, a sense of illusion is created. The viewer is drawn across the whole picture plane. Bontecou’s choice of color also creates unity, variety and strikes emotion. The use of darker values and dull colors convey a sense of mystery and seriousness. This piece is
effective because it triggers a range of emotions. It makes the viewer question the unknown and
appreciate the sublime.

It has been argued that the primary purpose of producing artwork is due to creating an emotional response. When viewing art, emotions are trigged and the work is allowed to express itself. The artist’s ability to create such a response within their artwork gives the viewer an opportunity to understand and become impacted emotionally.

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