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Vantongerloo was one of the pioneers of a mathematical approach to abstract art. The first number in the title, ’No.98’, is simply the figure Vantongerloo gave the work in his own catalogue. The rest of the numbers represent units of space in the painting. The basic unit (1) is the white rectangle and green stripe on the left of the bottom row. The second and third spaces along are each equivalent to two of these rectangles. Adding these numbers (1, 2, 2) cumulatively results in 1, 3 (1+2), 5 (3+2) for the green stripe section. The red row works on the same principle to give 2,4,7,8.

April 2012