Window on the City No 3 (1912) belongs to Robert Delaunay’s series City (La Ville, 1909-11) which helped establish his reputation as a leading avant-garde artist. The painting also marks a fundamental transition in the artist’s oeuvre: while in earlier paintings light was a device used to break up objects, in this work light becomes the subject itself. The patchwork texture, common to his paintings, is transformed into a consistent pattern of triangles and rectangles.
A new range of brilliant colors explodes on the canvas surface. Interestingly, the reverse of this painting bears fragments of Carousel of Pigs (1906), which was once thought lost. This unfinished work is characteristic of Delaunay’s previous exploration of Neo-impressionism and includes renderings of people and flowers broken down into brilliant colors, reveling the different ways in which, in painting, light visually constructs all objects.
Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.