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This abstract painting’s central dark-red form recalls blood or a wound, though it is essentially abstract. Bing’s fluid manipulation of abstract and figurative gestures was influenced by her early interaction with artist friends and colleagues such as Richard Diebenkorn, Elmer Bischoff, and Joan Brown.

She recalled: “I used techniques that Diebenkorn had employed in his earlier landscapes: washes over solid colors. There were also places in my paintings that had impasto brush strokes . . . in a fusion of light and a sort of atmospheric void.”

This work and Self Portrait with a Mask, both painted in 1960 while Bernice Bing was still in graduate school at the San Francisco Art Institute, were featured in the important Beat Era exhibition Gangbang at the Batman Gallery that same year.

Details

  • Title: Two Plus
  • Creator: Bernice Bing
  • Date Created: 1960
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Credit Line: Gift of the Estate of Bernice Bing, F2020.25.9

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