Created by
Binion, McArthur, American, born 1946
oil stick, Dixon wax crayon on aluminum
H x W x D: 59 × 46 × 2 1/16 in. (149.9 × 116.8 × 5.2 cm)
McArthur Binion is an abstract artist who developed a unique technique of "painting" by taking wax-based crayons and repeatedly pressing them on a surface to build up texture and form. He chose the medium of crayon because he wanted to break with artistic tradition. "It became important to me to do something different … we did not have crayons in our house. The only crayons were at school. I started off doing charcoal drawings and lithographs and then oil paintings. The more I got into art history, I realized there were a lot of painters. What was going to make my art different from all those fine painters? I did not want to be just like everyone else. I wanted to break the rules."
This oil stick and wax crayon painting on aluminum depicts an abstracted oval shape. Done in tones of red and white, the oval leans in a slant to the right, sitting on a rectangular field. The background is also two toned, yellow and red, opposite sides of the two tones used within the oval. The wax colors are pressed onto the canvas, rather than drawn, creating a high relief texture to the surface.
Visual Arts
mixed media
Abstract Expressionism
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of McArthur Binion
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
© McArthur Binion
Permission required for use. Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.

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