The following is from a Robert Ryman book but the quote is about Elsworth Kelly. I’m loving this book (simply structured into Primer, Paint, Support, Edge and Wall). At the same time I’m prepping a lecture on figure-ground for my 2D class.
Regardless of the compositional strategy, the common denominator seems to be that the more Kelly worked to undo composition, the greater the vengeance with which it returned. Kelly recognized that composition was not easily abandoned, and even a composition arrived at by chance bore the unsavory mark of authorial engagement and choice. So Kelly took another route that led him right back to the foundations of pictorialism – namely, an investigation of the cognitive dissonance that was wrought by the primordial separation of figure and ground within a reduced planar scheme of two or three colors. (Robert Ryman: Used Paint, Susan P Hudson, p.134)