THE X-5, 1963

oil on canvas
five panels, X-format
overall: 102 x 102 in.
(259.1 x 259.1 cm)
each: 51 x 51 in.
(129.5 x 129.5 cm), diamond

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Purchase 64.9a-e

©2019 MORGAN ART FOUNDATION/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NY

“This is one of five paintings executed all in 1963 given to the theme of and in homage to Charles Demuth’s ‘Five’ painting in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. The central and major painting of this series is ‘The Demuth American Dream #5,’ exhibited for the first time in the same Americans 1963 show at the Museum of Modern Art, but subsequently going into the Dunn International Exhibition at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick, from which it was purchased by the Toronto Gallery of Art, but then went on to be exhibited at the Tate Gallery, London, in the same show, becoming my first major painting to be exhibited publicly in Europe. ‘The X-5’ is auxilliary [sic] to this painting, stripped of its literary connotations and associations to my own American Dream series. The literary aspect is in relation, through the Demuth painting, to a poem by William Carlos Williams about the golden figure 5 which he saw on a passing fire engine, which inspired Demuth in 1928, by coincidence the year of my own birth. In the parent painting there are three 5’s against each star, which becomes in my mind 3 5, or the difference between 63 (the year of my painting) and 28 (the year of Demuth’s painting), thereof giving rise to another coincidence: Demuth died in ’35. And by a more unpleasant coincidence William Carlos Williams died in 1963 after my painting was executed. Whereas ‘The Dream’ is cruciform, ‘The X-5’ is an X, relating it backwards to my ‘Beware-Danger American Dream #4,’ now owned by Joseph Hirshhorn, and railroadwise (my grandfather was an engineer for the Pennsylvania RR) to ‘Highball on the Redball Manifest‘ in the James A. Michener Foundation Collection, Allentown Art Museum. Within the current body of my work this is the first all black, white and gray painting—a considerable departure from the general polychromy of my paintings and constructions. Its relatives the larger ‘Diamond Five’ and the smaller ‘Diamond Five‘ are in the collections respectively of Robert Scull and John Kloss. The fifth and last painting of the Demuth series is ‘The Figure Five,’ a rectangular canvas, reproduced in the catalogue of the Stankiewicz-Indiana Exhibition, The Walker Art Center, 1963, and permanently in my own collection. ‘The X-5’ is one of my own favorite paintings.”

 

Artist Questionnaire, Whitney Museum of American Art, February 14, 1964.

Medium

Decade

View

Clear Filters
UNTITLED

UNTITLED

1945
UNTITLED

UNTITLED

1945
UNTITLED

UNTITLED

1945
UNTITLED

UNTITLED

1945
TECH

TECH

1945
500

500

1945
BEAN BUD

BEAN BUD

1945
MENE MENE TEKEL

MENE MENE TEKEL

1955–56/1989
HUB

HUB

1957/2005
SOURCE I

SOURCE I

1959
THE SLIPS

THE SLIPS

1959–60
SUN AND MOON

SUN AND MOON

1959–60
FOUR

FOUR

1959–62/1972
TWO GOLDEN ORBS

TWO GOLDEN ORBS

1959/2001
GINKGO

GINKGO

1960
RA

RA

1960
SOUL

SOUL

1960
OWL

OWL

1960
ORB

ORB

1960
MOON

MOON

1960
M

M

1960
GE

GE

1960
WALL OF CHINA

WALL OF CHINA

1960–61
ELECTI

ELECTI

1960–61
MARINE WORKS

MARINE WORKS

1960–62
MATE

MATE

1960–62
TWO

TWO

1960–62
JEANNE D'ARC

JEANNE D'ARC

1960–62
BAR

BAR

1960–62
ZIG

ZIG

1960–62
LAW

LAW

1960–62
AHAB

AHAB

1960–62
STAR

STAR

1960–62
WOMB

WOMB

1960–62
CUBA

CUBA

1960–62
HOLE

HOLE

1960–62
MELVILLE

MELVILLE

1961
BALLYHOO

BALLYHOO

1961
HARDROCK

HARDROCK

1961
SLIP

SLIP

1961
DOWN

DOWN

1962
UP

UP

1962
GRASS

GRASS

1962
FOR

FOR

1962
EAT/DIE

EAT/DIE

1962
HUG

HUG

1962
HUB

HUB

1962
EAT

EAT

1962
CHIEF

CHIEF

1962
DIE

DIE

1962/1984
GEM

GEM

1962/1984
COLUMN LOVE

COLUMN LOVE

1963–64
COLUMN EAT

COLUMN EAT

1963–64
FLAGELLANT

FLAGELLANT

1963/1969
LOVE

LOVE

1964
LOVE

LOVE

1964
THE ELECTRIC EAT

THE ELECTRIC EAT

1964–2007
ONE

ONE

1964–65
TWO

TWO

1964–65
THREE

THREE

1964–65
FOUR

FOUR

1964–65
FIVE

FIVE

1964–65
SEVEN

SEVEN

1964–65
MY MOTHER

MY MOTHER

1964/1998
MY FATHER

MY FATHER

1964/1998
DILLINGER

DILLINGER

1964/1998
CALL ME ISHMAEL

CALL ME ISHMAEL

1964/1998
CALL ME INDIANA

CALL ME INDIANA

1964/1998
BOB'S COLUMN

BOB'S COLUMN

1964/1998
SIX

SIX

1965
EIGHT

EIGHT

1965
NINE

NINE

1965
ZERO

ZERO

1965
ALABAMA

ALABAMA

1965
MODEL T

MODEL T

1966
FLORIDA

FLORIDA

1966
LOVE

LOVE

1966
666

666

1966
LOVE

LOVE

1966–1999
THE ELECTRIC LOVE

THE ELECTRIC LOVE

1966–2000
LOVE WALL

LOVE WALL

1966–2006
LOVE

LOVE

1967
APOGEE

APOGEE

1970
ART

ART

1970
ART

ART

1972–2001
AHAVA

AHAVA

1977
MONARCHY

MONARCHY

1981
FIVE

FIVE

1984
MARS

MARS

1990
ICARUS

ICARUS

1992
EVE

EVE

1997
AMOR

AMOR

1998–2006
COMET

COMET

2000
ÀI

ÀI

2002
ÀI

ÀI

2002