Paintings held by Allan Stone Galleries / Composition with Illustration, 1962 20" x 35" (source: undated handwritten list)
Paintings held by Allan Stone Galleries / Composition with Illustration, 1962 20" x 35" (source: undated handwritten list. size height by width)
About Composition with Illustration, 1962.
To the left is a non-readable abstract calligraphic image of handwriting, to the right, a dark rectangle. The "paragraph" is a pattern of writing. The rectangle also is a pattern, a shape suggesting an illustration for the writing to the left. Both are non-readable. You can't read the writing, you can't see the illustration. But the afterimage is all there, a persistent mental image of a composition with an illustration. The calligraphic writing adheres to the surface; the rectangle punches a hole into that surface. When in other works I came to painting a recognizable illustration I chose an image that would be as familiar as that of handwriting: a picture of a painting. For these works, my title changed from "paragraph" to "composition with." In this work, the calligraphic mark in the area below the illustration is part of the image, not my signature; I continued the practice of signing my paintings only on the back of the canvas. (George Deem, letter to Franklin Sirmans, The Menil Collection, Houston, January 2, 2008)