“In terms of aesthetics, movement happens, as the intricate layers cause oscillating effects … and through each layer of Mylar, which is almost a conversation that happens between master printers and artists, they’re layering and seeing the way the colors come together,” said Jackson.

“The movement that Delsarte creates in his composition,” she added, “emphasizes the process and play within printmaking that makes this work so compelling.”

“Unity” will be displayed as part of “States of Play: Prints from Rembrandt to Delsarte,” on view from September 4 through January 2. The show will feature prints from the museums’ collections that highlight the creative decision-making and iterative nature of the printmaking process. Both “Unity” and Delsarte’s 12 Mylar separations will make their Harvard debut in the show.

It seems fitting that a boy who listened to his father’s jazz records would as a man embrace improvisation in his own art. Delsarte and his printer crafted “Unity” by “riffing off one another,” said Jackson. “Spontaneity in the offset printmaking process allows for artists and printer to really converse, and we can see these conversations coming through and the layers of colors … but also the process becomes almost lyrical, each Mylar existing as a note within a greater melody.”