The painting is a reflection of this Abstract Expressionist's ideals and has found a significant place in modern society. Many people identify with the work. As the artist intended, viewers are drawn in by the seemingly endless possibilities presented by the vast expanse of space.
Onement VI was most recently sold through Sotheby's for over $40 million. Measuring 8 ½ by 10 feet, this dark blue canvas features Newman's trademark zip, a band of colour extending from the bottom to the top of the canvas.
It was completed in 1953 and is the last painting in Barnett Newman's Onement arrangement. Each of the six unique canvases is demarcated by a line of a different shade.
Newman used his zips to help characterise the structure of the work. He initially alluded to this artistic element as a zip when he exhibited Onement VI. It turned into his mark or a signal that viewers could use to identify one of his paintings.
Onement VI is the biggest of the entire arrangement. The name comes from an age-old English word that signified "at one". For Newman, this name was perfect because it meant each viewer could become one with the painting as they stepped closer to it and became immersed in it.
The name Onement also emphasised his feeling of being at one with his work. Just by analysing the canvas up close viewers may enjoy the beautiful washes of energetic blue and the lighter blue vertical line in Onement VI.
Of the six artistic creations, four are in exhibition halls, including "Onement I," finished in 1948 and claimed by the Museum of Modern Art. Newman articulated that the piece was an imaginative leap forward because it was the first occasion that he had utilised the zip.
Authorities at Sotheby's declined to state which private collector now owns Onement VI. Paul Allen of Microsoft purchased it secretly in 2000.
A few people who have seen the artwork say that it has had some challenges. Quite a while back something spilled on its surface, which has since experienced reclamation. A few conservators have seen it and said it is in great condition.