Here II, 1965
hot-rolled and Cor-Ten steel
289.2 x 200 x 130.2 cm maximum irregular
National Gallery of Canada (no. 18965)
© Estate of Barnett Newman / ARS (New York) / SODRAC (Montréal)
Best known as a painter, Barnett Newman also made some eight sculptures during his life. Here II was the first produced entirely at a foundry and has often been understood as a three-dimensional manifestation of Newman’s characteristic “zips,” the distinctive vertical bands used in his painting. Sometimes interpreted as a representation of the Crucifixion, the sculpture was Newman’s attempt to render vertical forms, which appear to rise from – rather than recede into – the floor. The tapered elements at the foot of each “zip,” as well as the concealed support for the base, lend a sense of weightlessness to an otherwise immense steel structure.