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Robert Mangold

Curled Figure Study XIX



Robert Mangold (1937-)


Curled Figure Study XIX




Acrylic and graphite pencil on canvas


Overall: 36 1/4 × 84 1/8 in. (92.1 × 213.7 cm)

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Postwar Committee

Accession number


Object Label

When Robert Mangold painted Curled Figure Study XIX, he was producing compositions limited to four basic elements: the ring shape, the curled line, the column, and so-called column structures. Here, the curled double line is traced in a pattern crossing the two congruent panels—an extension which binds the two halves together into a single, flowing graphic element. Mangold has long conceived of his paintings through drawings, and most of his painted surfaces, including Curled Figure Study XIX, contain passages of hand-drawn graphite. But Mangold does not use these lines in a naturalistic or representational manner, instead preferring—as was the case for a number of artists of his generation, including Sol LeWitt and Robert Ryman—to create simple forms that refer only to themselves.