Mangold is part of the first generation of artists who adopted painting itself as their subject. A painting to him is simply a flat surface to which paint is applied. Stripped of illusion, it is the sum of its constituent parts: size, shape, surface, line, colour, texture, material and process. Halfway through the 1960s, the artist made his ‘shaped canvases’, paintings that were not the usual rectangular or square shape. During the second half of the 1980s, these ‘shaped canvases’ became multiple-part works. These works are geometric, abstract and almost always executed using just one colour. For example he made diptychs such as 'Red with Green Ellipse/Gray Frame' on which one single figure (ellips or quadrangle) is painted or has been cut out. His work is still predominantly monochrome, although he no longer fully masks the coloured areas. Lively brush strokes bring forth transparency and colour nuances.