Painting - Division of the Square by Conic Rectangles

Description
This painting shows three rectangles of equal area, one in shades of blue, one in shades of purple, and one in shades of pink. The height of the middle rectangle equals the height of the first rectangle less its own width, while the height of the third rectangle equals the height of the first triangle less the width of the first triangle. Crockett Johnson associated these properties with conic curves. The construction is that of the artist. The coloring was suggested by a recently discovered French cave painting. The narrow rectangle on the left side and the dark, thin triangle at the base were also added to correspond to the cave painting.
The oil painting on masonite is #60 in the series. It is signed: CJ70, and inscribed on the back: DIVISION OF THE SQUARE BY CONIC RECTANGLES (/) (GNOMON ADDED AT THE SUGGESTION OF A CRO-MAGNON (/) ARTIST OF LASCAUX (/) Crockett Johnson 1970. The painting is in a black wooden frame. For related documentation see 1979.3083.02.05.
Reference: Crockett Johnson, "On the Mathematics of Geometry in My Abstract Paintings," Leonardo 5 (1972): pp. 98–101.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
painting
date made
1970
painter
Johnson, Crockett
Physical Description
masonite (overall material)
wood (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 64 cm x 64 cm x 5 cm; 25 3/16 in x 25 3/16 in x 1 15/16 in
ID Number
1979.1093.37
catalog number
1979.1093.37
accession number
1979.1093
subject
Art
Science & Mathematics
Crockett Johnson
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Crockett Johnson
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Ruth Krauss in memory of Crockett Johnson
Additional Media

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