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Transfiguration III, 1958

Gottlieb’s Transfiguration III expresses a different kind of energy. It is a “burst” painting, a typology Gottlieb conceived in 1957 that juxtaposes two shapes on a vertical axis. Set against a stark background, a haloed red oval hovers above a nest of black brushstrokes. The title alludes to the biblical account of Jesus Christ’s metamorphosis on a mountain, during which his body became radiant with divine light as his disciples looked on from below. Gottlieb conveys the essence of this event through the composition’s contrasting abstract forms.

Prior to the Andersons acquiring Transfiguration III, the work was in the personal collection of William Rubin, who was then Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

-Sidney Simon, PhD ‘18