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This vertical canvas is filled with geometric shapes that create patterns in red, blue, yellow, green, black, and white in this abstract painting. The paint is applied with visible brushstrokes, giving some areas a mottled look. Some of the patterns seem to revolve around a red circle near the top center. The circle has a black cross like a plus sign on a white field at its center, and a white band around its perimeter is outlined in black. A blue and white checkered band curves up over the red circle to our left while a banner-like form of alternating, wavy yellow and black lines cascade down to the right of the circle. Horizontal bands of red, white, and black extend across the canvas behind the circle. Below the circle, a blue panel with a curly, cursive red ā€œEā€ is flanked to the left with a red and white checkerboard, then alternating, almost vertical lines of blue and white. The red number ā€œ4ā€ appears on a yellow field at the bottom center of the work, and is flanked by rectangular forms and alternating bands of color to either side.

Marsden Hartley, Berlin Abstraction, 1914/1915, oil on canvas, Corcoran Collection (Museum Purchase, Gallery Fund), 2014.79.21

The Art of Looking

Marsden Hartley, Berlin Abstraction

  • Friday, June 4, 2021
  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Registration Required
  • Virtual Program

In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, Marsden Hartley's Berlin Abstraction is the inspiration for this interactive conversation. Join us and share your observations, interpretations, questions, and ideas, and build on your own first impressions to broaden your understanding of this work of art. This session lasts one hour and is completely interactive. National Gallery educators will facilitate the conversation to create an environment for shared learning. These conversations will encourage you to engage deeply with art, with others, and with the world around you as you hone skills in visual literacy and perspective-taking.

This program is free and open to the public and is designed for anyone interested in talking about art. No art or art history background is required. Ages 18 and over.

Due to the interactive nature of this program, sessions are not recorded.


Live Captions

Live captions (CART) are available in some breakout rooms for this program. Please contact [email protected] to request access or for more information.