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Barnett Newman, First Station, 1958, Magna on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection

First Station, Newman (ASL)

This painting is the first of 14 abstract representations of the Stations of the Cross, and it is also the first work to feature Newman’s signature “zips.” These vertical elements, which could be sharply or loosely defined, were used to punctuate the single-hued fields of his canvases. This series exemplifies Newman’s efforts to blend abstract expressionism with mystical and spiritual subjects.