Theo van Doesburg

Composition in Gray (Rag-time)


This monochromatic abstraction mimics the syncopated rhythms of rag-time and illustrates a couple performing the still-popular American dance: the man is on the right, his foot firmly planted at the bottom of the composition, his left arm raised at shoulder level. The woman, slightly shorter, performs a rag-time kick (the two vertical parallel lines in the lower left quadrant are her foot—this is a back kick from the knee). Her waist is located in the shaded oval-in-a-rectangle half way up the left side of the composition. We know all this thanks to a realistic preliminary sketch.

Not on View

Artist Theo van Doesburg
Original Title Composition in Gray (Rag time)
Date 1919
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 96.5 x 59.1 cm
Credit line Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York)
Accession 76.2553 PG 40
Collection Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Type Painting

Copy caption

Not on View

Other artworks

Alberto Giacometti



Not on View