During the mid-1960s, Marian Dale Scott was on the verge of aesthetic innovation. Having explored the possibilities of Abstract Expressionism in the vein of the New York School since the late 1950s, she now abandoned the deeply pigmented oil paints, heavily textured impasto, and gestural forms that characterized this period of her work for thinly applied acrylic paints, flat planes of bright colour, and geometric forms. Although her painting during this period shared some of the aesthetic and conceptual preoccupations of the Plasticiens, the subtle fluidity of Scott’s compositions added a more animated, organic sensibility to her work. Basing the construction of her paintings on a slightly skewed, irregular grid, Scott embraced an innovative aesthetic interpretation of geometric abstraction, which critic Robert Ayre describes as “neither rigidly hard-edge, nor dependent on the visual effects of Op Art” (Trépanier, Marian Dale Scott. Pionnière de l’art moderne, Musée du Québec, 2000).
The paintings created from 1965 to 1967, bearing titles such as Untitled, Structure, Painting, and Crystalic, are some of the most original and strikingly captivating works of their time. Untitled (1967) is a consummate example of Scott’s work during this very brief period. Softened triangular sections in slightly muted colours of black, yellow, blue, and deep red radiate at oblique angles across the canvas, creating gently contoured crystalline forms whose dynamic juxtapositions engulf the viewer in a mesmerizing visual rhythm.