The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Facade, 1957

Collage and oil on canvas

Lil Picard Collection, University of Iowa Museum of Art   696.1999

Picard frequently utilized wordplay, a technique popularized by the dada-surrealists in which definitions of words become part of the subject of the art work, as a means to reinforce meaning.

As early as 1957 Picard began to employ a white, green, and red color palette. In her later performances the individual colors in the palette referred to Purity, Peace, and War. Picard’s use of color may have been influenced by Alfred Jensen, as well as Hofmann and others (such as Mark Rothko, who was a great friend). Picard had met Jensen in 1952. Jensen promoted a variety of techniques like Goethe’s analysis of prismatic light, Mayan numeric and celestial systems, as well as various metaphysical principles, which inspired Picard to explore their feasibility for her own work.