The looming stature and hundreds of pounds of oil paint that form the craggy gray surface of Incision call to mind a landslide. The title alludes to the techniques behind its sculptural crevices: DeFeo used palette knives and brushes to build up and carve into the many layers of pigment. Some ridges were also shaped by underlying rows of string. DeFeo refined the artwork over two years of sustained adjustments, additions, and subtractions. Although it was originally conceived to be the first panel of a V-shaped triptych, it evolved into a stand-alone monolith that attests to DeFeo’s dedication to letting a painting develop in its own time.
What inspired this five-hundred-pound painting?
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