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Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Illuminated “M” Design, ca. 1912; gouache on paper, 7 5/16 x 5 ½ inches; Charles E. Burchfield Foundation Archives, Gift of the Charles E. Burchfield Foundation, 2006

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Illuminated “M” Design, ca. 1912; gouache on paper, 7 5/16 x 5 ½ inches; Charles E. Burchfield Foundation Archives, Gift of the Charles E. Burchfield Foundation, 2006

In this design, instead of exclusively using line to define the subject, Burchfield displays his ability to create shapes and forms out of negative space. The white flowers—perhaps pussy willows—are carefully relieved from the background color, while the calligraphic “M” seems to be growing directly from the dark, contrasting stems that root the scene.

Content developed by Tullis Johnson, Brian Grunert and Kyle Morrisey for the exhibition Charles E. Burchfield: By Design

Part of

  • Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Art School Work, ca. 1912-15; Conté crayon on cardboard, 36 x 22 5/8 inches; Charles E. Burchfield Foundation Archives, Gift of the Charles E. Burchfield Foundation, 2006

    Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Art School Work, ca. 1912-15; Conté crayon on cardboard, 36 x 22 5/8 inches; Charles E. Burchfield Foundation Archives, Gift of the Charles E. Burchfield Foundation, 2006