Joan Witek’s Equivalent

Happy Friday! Today, we’re highlighting a staff favorite from our collection.

A wide painting with two vertical rows of oblong horizontal black ovals on each side; uniform lines of fuzzy vertical ovals fill the center of the painting
Joan Witek, Equivalent, 1983, Carnegie Museum of Art. © Joan Witek.

“This painting almost seems to vibrate,” says Taia Pandolfi, Communications and Social Media Manager. “I love how Witek plays the fuzzy texture of the interior ovals against the rigidity of the outer ones. When you stand in front of this painting (over nine feet tall) in the gallery, it feels completely alive.

“Throughout her whole career, Witek experiments with my favorite color: black. She once said, ‘I am attracted to black because of the beauty of the color and for me, its infinite variety. It is a color that has been my inspiration since I began painting.’”