Publication Date

4-15-2010

Advisor(s)

Katherine Kuenzli

Major

Art History

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Barnett Newman's "Stations of the Cross" series consists of fourteen abstract paintings created between 1958 and 1966, and is one of the artist's most unique works. This essay advances a new understanding of the "Stations" as concerned with destabilization of visual perception and the nature of human suffering, incorporating the elements of seriality and content which have been overlooked by pervious scholars. This is accomplished through direct dialogue with previous arguments, discussion of the Christian devotion after which the series was named, in-depth consideration of Newman's writings and statements, and a rigorous analysis of the fourteen paintings themselves. It is found that the "Stations of the Cross," while abstract and stark in appearance, are complex and full of meaning.

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