Robert Mangold

With over four decades of experience as an artist, and having been exhibited widely across America and Europe, Robert Mangold has always produced original and interesting work. His art is carefully considered, with particular attention paid to composition – including his use of shape, line and colour – to create abstract pieces that are usually informed by his interest in structured art.

His latest project, Ring, is no exception to this tradition. The exhibition, being shown at The Pace Gallery in New York for the rest of this month and most of April (and his 13th at the gallery), showcases a series of paintings on a circular shaped canvas, as well as a selection of related works on paper. This showing is the culmination of three years work on this particular project.

Can you elaborate on why you chose to use a circle shape in this collection?

I’ve been working with the circle and circle parts as an image off and on since the mid 60s, and these Ring paintings are a continuation of that. However, the new paintings, for all the enclosure a circle signifies, the central area is empty, a void.

Why have you used two halves of a circle instead of one whole canvas in a circular shape?

The paintings are constructed in two pieces with a split or vertical seam, which has both an aesthetic as well as practical purpose. I work alone in my studio and the way the pieces for this series are made, with a large amount of plywood, it makes them very heavy. If they were in one piece, I wouldn’t have been able to handle them alone.

What role does colour play in your art?

Often a series of works or individual paintings demand certain colour or tonal restrictions, because of the nature of the piece. For instance in the Ring series, if I only used dark colours, all you would see is the ring. An intense colour might also be too much for them.

Any ideas or plans for your next project?

I don’t really know what route my next works will take, if they will be an offshoot of the current paintings or move in a different direction. I feel lucky that there are still some ideas floating around in my head that I want to pursue though!

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