Robert Delaunay

/Works and biography


Windows Open Simultaneously 1st Part, 3rd Motif
(Fenêtres ouvertes simultanément 1ère partie, 3e motif), 1912
Oil on canvas, 57 x 123 cm
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice 76.2553 PG 36


Though Robert Delaunay had virtually discarded representational imagery by the spring of 1912 when he embarked on the Windows theme, vestigial objects endure in this series. Here the centralized ghost of a green Eiffel Tower alludes to his enthusiasm for modern life. Analytic Cubism inspired Delaunay’s fragmentation of form, oval format, and organization of the picture’s space as a grid supporting intersecting planes. However, unlike the monochromatic, tactile planes of Cubism, those of Delaunay are not defined by line and modeling, but by the application of diaphanous, prismatic color. As in visual perception of the real world, perception of Delaunay’s painting is initially fragmentary, the eye continually moving from one form to others related by hue, value, tone, shape, or direction. As focus shifts, expands, jumps, and contracts in unending rhythms, one senses the fixed borders of the canvas and the tight interlocking of its contents. Because identification of representational forms is not necessary while the eye moves restlessly, judgments about the relative importance of parts are not made and all elements can be perceived as equally significant.

credits: Hangar Design Group