Bringing the Art to You


Week #28

Untitled (White, Black and Gray Abstract Figures), 1953, oil on canvas 18” x 40"

The early 1950s marked a stylistic turn in Dusti Bongé’s oeuvre, when she started moving away from her surrealist and already highly abstracted Keyhole Figures, to even more abstract forms in her compositions. No longer were there recognizable figures but instead a specific use of abstract shapes arranged in a certain pattern that lent a sense of rhythm to these works. Eventually these shapes made way for her purely gestural abstract expressionist style.

The above work by Dusti Bongé is from this transitional period. She created several horizontal paintings like this one, that really allowed the abstract pattern of figures to move across the canvas. These paintings also have a very similar palette dominated by browns and golds and some white. It should be noted that this was also the time when she started traveling regularly to Mexico, in 1952 to visit her son, and in 1954 with her friends Betty Parsons, and Jack Robinson. These paintings look like they might have been inspired by the highly stylized abstract forms of Mesoamerican art, and by the warm colors of the country.

In this work there is clearly a rhythmic movement of lighter forms in the foreground overlapping a few dark forms behind them, which in turn stand out against the muted, light taupe background. Then, to the right  of the composition, the fore- and back-ground relation is intensified, with the brighter figures being contrasted against a very dark brown ground. 

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Available in our store:



The definitive volume on artist Dusti Bongé, by J. Richard Gruber

Dusti Bongé, Art and Life: Biloxi, New Orleans, New York

Hard bound, 12” x 9”, 350 pages, over 500 color and b&w illustrations

Limited edition lithographs of two original

Dusti Bongé drawings. 

Shrimp Boats & Factories, Back Bay Biloxi I


Shrimp Boats & Factories, Back Bay Biloxi II

​12” x 16” drawing,  15” x 22” paper size

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Our mission: to promote the artistic legacy of Dusti Bongé (1903-1993)