Thinking about project 1.3 and how to balance depictions of mood and space reminded me a lot of Whistler’s “Nocturne” series. This one in particular is called “Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket.” Whistler was one of the first painters to create abstracted, decorative pieces, which allowed him to explore the compositional and atmospheric qualities of his image a lot more. For example, although we can’t clearly make out the rocket mentioned in the title, we still tangibly feel the magical mood of a summer night. It’s a great example of how an abstracted space and limited color palette can give the artist more creative freedom to manipulate atmosphere.

Also, fun fact: this piece was actually the subject of the lawsuit. A critic described the work as “flinging a pot of paint” onto a canvas, and Whistler sued for libel. He barely won, receiving a small fee for damages, but it helped bring about more acceptance of abstract art.