History of Application: Talking to You

McArthur Binion (b. 1946) History of Application: Talking to You, 1977 Dixon wax crayon on aluminum 46 × 59 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase with funds provided by Barbara Bluhm-Kaul and Don Kaul, Chicago, and a gift of the artist and Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago 2016.20

McArthur Binion uses oilstick and crayon to create densely textured, patterned works. Here, the crayon markings ebb and flow throughout the composition, reflecting the artist’s musicality—particularly his affinity for the improvisational bebop style of jazz— Binion considers an integral part of his practice. Tight clumps of contrasting colors overlay diagonally oriented rectangles to create a hypnotizing pattern. In his compositions Binion employs intricate hand-drawn grids with a machinelike precision and repetition.