Similar but different Left-Right Ring Split
In 2011, the Pace Gallery in New York presented an exhibit of Robert Mangold's Ring Paintings, a series of large-scale paintings consisting of graphite lines over acrylic paint washes on canvas. Each work was arranged in a way that was surprising, even startling, because it was so unusual and because of this so unexpected. The pieces were made by joining two painted panels to form a ring with an empty center. The artist described this emptiness in the center of each work as being just as important as the painted section, perhaps even more important than the sections that are filled in.
In a press release from the Pace Gallery about the exhibit, Mangold described the paintings as being the latest works in a long series of paintings about the same ideas. "I've been working with the circle and circle parts as an image off and on for decades, and these Ring paintings are a continuation of that! However, in the new paintings, for all the enclosure a circle signifies, the central area is empty, a void."
He is quoted as continuing to describe these images as being defined by a "band of color, circling the empty center". He said that while there are some basic similarities to work that he was doing two decades ago that featured rectangles that outlined an open center. These new paintings are far more about emptiness than color, according to the artist. Focusing on this idea that his art has become increasingly about emptiness,