Artwork Information

  • Title:

    Circular Composition #62 (C.I.S. #46)

  • Artist:

    Yust, David

  • Artist Bio:

    American, born 1939

  • Date:


  • Medium:

    Acrylic on canvas

  • Dimensions:

    48 inches diameter x 4 3/4" depth

  • Credit Line:

    Wichta Art Museum, Gift of George E. Vollmer

  • Object Number:


  • Display:

    Not Currently on Display

About the Artwork

Back in Wichita in an attic room, which is seldom used, are objects important to the understanding of paintings by David Yust. The room is filled with model airplanes and silver-plated cups which state that a youngster named Yust some twenty years ago won this or that contest in everything from model-building itself to a never broken national record flight by a model plane. Here, is this room, a salient part of Yust’s highly personal, present-day shaped paintings was born—his sense of structure, of construction, of struts and membranes, of building and shaping, of stretching material over form, of accuracy, of precision, and of the ultimate in craftsmanship. Now, years, later, Yust applies the same meticulousness—the fitting, the laminating, and gluing—to fulfill his sculptured paintings as he did his prize-winning planes. As these early small planes had hundreds of individual parts so some of his large recent sculptured circular canvases contain as many as 150 individually shaped pieces which have been fitted, doweled, laminated, or glued so as to become his intricate stretcher or support. These features are seldom seen by the average viewer of his paintings yet they are such an integral part of the complicated whole. Privileged is the person who is able to see these paintings in their preliminary form before Yust applies sized canvas and acrylic paint which change them quite completely. These preliminary skeletons are already works of art; the fabricated forms serve but to remind one that Wichita came before Ft. Collins and that the tiny airplanes are the logical and predictable prototypes for the mature directions in Yust’s latest works.

At Ft. Collins, Colorado, in a basement room which is crowded with dangling stretchers, pinned-up sketches, stacks of books and magazines, a large work table with a section on its surface reserved for meticulous drawings, another for the paintings in progress, is the studio of David Yust. The environment is only for the painter and his very close friends. However, once invited there, you share with Yust a number of art experiences and enthusiasms. But, what is most exciting about the studio are what Yust calls the “unveilings”. Suddenly, unexpectedly, a phone call comes; “Today or tonight is the time,” Yust’s voice explains. He means that a painting (or sometimes, paintings) has been finished and that the protective tapes used by Yust to get perfection of edges can now be removed. The paintings are to be unveiled. As one sits in the studio the sticky noise of drafting tape slowly being removed is heard. The experience is mystical. From out of the ratcheting tape and protective papers emerge new glorious colors, then lines, exquisite edges, and finally the full sculptured forms. Yust is ecstatic, sometimes stunned, sometimes critical (a whole section to be redone?). This procedure has the essence of miracles as does seeing a cocoon change to the glorious butterfly. The final triumph is to view the work lifted from the work table, hung on a hook swinging from the rafters of the basement, and joined to the fraternity of other glorious great circles hanging about the room, some flat, some shaped.

Robert J. Forsyth, Professor

Art History

Colorado State University