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Moment is one of Newman’s first paintings to include a vertical band of light, a band which he would soon call a ‘zip’. He said that in these early works he was manipulating colour and space to fight the chaos that existed before the beginning of the universe. The title refers to the moment of creation, and possibly a moment of arrival for art. Abstract expressionist artists such as Rothko and Newman were aware that they were embarking on a series of radical new approaches to painting.

July 2012