203.2 x 127 two joined canvases, 101.6 x 127 each)
Private Collection, New York
| Image Notes
Two joined canvases, 40 x 50 inches each (101.6 x 127 cm)
A Corporation Painting stacks up portrait heads from 17th-century Dutch paintings of almshouse governing boards like tins of soup in an Andy Warhol. Spatial values have been completely lost, made uninteresting. The heads are suspended in spatial uncertainty. They are no more two-dimensional than the figures in Byzantine painting. But the space, like that of the gold ground in Byzantine and medieval painting, is non-dimensional. Such a non-dimensional space -- which automatically expresses an equivalent non-dimensional time -- is in effect multi-dimensional; it expands into dimensionless significance. It does not cancel the figure, but lifts it out of time and space into a timeless present moment; it transforms the figure into an icon....
... Ostensibly, or at least at first sight, A Corporation Painting is an abstract representation of the calligraphy of Frans Hals. But not all the heads come from a painting by Hals; some are taken from another Dutch 17th-century painter's grouping of the governors of another almshouse. An assimilation has occurred between the calligraphy of Frans Hals and the calligraphic signature of a style and a genre.
(Ronald Vance, "Painting Lists," Art and Artists, London, February 1968).