Here the composition consists of a scaffold of horizontals and verticals. Everything is precisely positioned, and no formal component can be displaced. The organization of the six bowlers becomes an interplay of forms. Between two “pairs”, the active bowler finds just enough space to make his shot. The positioning of these men one in front of the other defines the layers of depth. The active bowler stands in the foremost layer, while the sixth man, as a counterbalance, stands furthest toward the back, creating a third layer. This sixth person loosens the symmetrical positioning of the configuration formed by the other five men. The entire constellation is slightly displaced from the middle toward the left of the painting. As with a text that is read, this eases the viewer’s entrance into the image. Contrastingly, a multiple layering of light and dark vertical lines creates a distinctive end of the image at the painting’s right edge.
This work endeavors to achieve unity and great form through the development of an indisplaceable structure that uses composition and the interrelation of individual forms between various individual sections of the image. Painterly means are of course also used to achieve this end. Just as the forms are organized in parallels or react to one another through similarity or contrast, various areas of the painting are also linked using color. The strong blue encompassing all of the individual forms serves formal unity in the same way.