Oil on canvas
36 1/8 x 34 1/8 inches
Wichita Art Museum, Gift of William H. Conner
Not Currently on Display
About the Artwork
This painting, an untitled abstraction, dates from 1954 when Conner was studying art at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This near-monochromatic canvas exhibits a layered subtly textured surface of impasto relief in linear patterns, dents, and irregular biomorphic forms. The artist relates the generation of this image to experiences he had as participant in an archaeological site excavation project conducted by the Smithsonian Institution. The artist’s manipulation of the paint evokes the idea of scraping back thin strata of organic matter to disclose enigmatic, portentous signs. Although Conner began to move away from oil painting and into other media around 1957, this early work anticipates many of the formal and conceptual issues which he explored in his graphic production.