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#3 Paris

Artist/Maker: Charles Joseph Biederman (United States, 1906-2004)

Date: 1937
Medium: enamel on wood
Overall: 43 1/2 x 35 1/2 x 4 in. (110.5 x 90.2 x 10.2 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Object number: 91.0020
DescriptionBiederman’s #3 Paris belongs to a developing period in the artist’s work when he abandoned painting, drawing, and collage in favor of the three-dimensional constructed relief. Named for the city in which it was made, #3 Paris is a boldly executed study of geometric planes of painted wood placed at right angles. Although Biederman would dismiss the idea, Mondrian's influence is apparent in the work. In seeking to achieve a revolutionary art form with his reliefs, Biederman distanced himself philosophically, stylistically, and technically from the European "isms" he had come to disdain and with which he might be associated. He advanced an original "structurist" philosophy ordered around geometry and rooted in Cezanne's theories of abstracted nature. The Lowe's #3 Paris, an early work, is made of wood painted in primary colors; after the 1940s Biederman developed a new medium for his mature reliefs - industrial aluminum strips spray painted in a range of colors. While Biederman's work is often dismissed as a footnote to Constructivism in its various manifestations, it is, in fact, a highly original art form that deserves further attention.
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