Pousette-Dart: The Democracy of Touches

Richard Pousette-Dart is the subject of a searching essay, entitled “The Democracy of Touches” by 


as Roberta Smith wrote in her New York Times review, “exemplifies the exultation of material that courses through much American painting.”1 This is the brilliant and indispensable truth about Pousette-Dart’s art. He used dense layering of paint, pigment, and form to create complex light infused compositions, a hallmark of his work that remained constant throughout his career.

Richard Pousette-Dart is included in Abstract Painting: Concepts and Techniques with a discussion of the forms seen in his work and that of others. This essay makes important points about the textural qualities ofPousette-Dart’s work:

In confronting such an overwhelmingly tactile yet optical experience, I’ve come to realize the impulse to build up surfaces corresponds to his sculptural appetite: The mediation between two and three-dimensionality, as with the dialectic between the physical, the ethereal and the optical has always been a harmonious simultaneity.