Barnett Newman Adam 1951–2

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Artwork details

Artist
Barnett Newman 1905–1970
Title
Adam
Date 1951–2
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 2429 x 2029 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1968
Reference
T01091
Not on display

Display caption

From the mid-1940s Newman had been preoccupied with the Jewish myths of Creation. The vertical strips in his paintings may relate to certain traditions that present God and man as a single beam of light. The name Adam, which in the Old Testament was given to the first man, derives from the Hebrew word adamah (earth), but is also close to adom, (red) and dam (blood). The relationship between brown and red in this painting may therefore symbolise man's intimacy with the earth.

August 2004