Undulating, curling, and twisting, the paper-thin forms of One enact a gravity-defying dance in aluminum. The elaborate shapes, both delicate and dense, recall the Baroque art that impressed George Sugarman during his first travels in Europe. Later, reflecting on the period during which he made One, Sugarman noted, “All through the ’60s and ’70s I had no label. I wasn’t Pop. I wasn’t Minimal. And ‘Maximal’ was a word that wasn’t used. Yet I was a Maximalist. I wanted to put everything in my work, even the kitchen sink.”
Inspired in part by the flat, unmodulated color used by Henri Matisse and Stuart Davis, Sugarman often painted his cut-out forms in bright colors. In One, a dark red infiltrates the lace-like white. “In my sculpture, the color is as important as form and space. It is used to articulate the sculpture as much as form articulates the sculpture in space.” Like many of his contemporaries, Sugarman also appreciated jazz, which taught him about rhythm, pacing, and form.