"Tondo" Polyptych Paintings
(2004 – 2006)
Kass' series of polyptych tondos are multi-paneled, rectangular paintings visually "anchored" by a circular "tondo" image and comprised of strict geometric shapes suspended in luminous or watery-looking spaces. Painted with thin layers of watercolor randomly applied by means of stencils and fabric scrims onto lightly toned or "smoked" paper, they are afterwards sealed in shaved beeswax and mounted on wood panels. Their surfaces suggest a living interaction between the imprints of the fabric scrims and their smooth, glossy beeswax finishes. One inescapable visual reference of the tondo form is, of course, the holistic mandala, which Kass also painted in his early career.