Collection of Annalee Newman

First Station of the Cross, Barnett Newman (1985). First Station by American artist Barnett Newman is one of 14 canvases in a series called Stations of the Cross. Each painting in the cycle is slightly more than six feet tall and about the width of an adult’s arm span. The First Station has a somber stark vertical running along the left side of the canvas. At the right is a slender “zip,” as the artist termed these stripes, traverses the painting, and though it seems lighter in tone than the wheat-colored canvas, this effect comes from the irregular boundary lines of the “zip,” with alternate delicate an heavier black strokes. These feathered black brush strokes suggest the wavering of consciousness in the experience of pain.