Sketch for Machine Composition #2
ca. 1936 I. Rice Pereira Born: Chelsea, Massachusetts 1902 Died: Marbella, Spain 1971 pencil and crayon on paper sheet: 17 1/2 x 22 5/8 in. (44.5 x 57.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Patricia and Phillip Frost 1986.92.73 Not currently on view
Sketch for Machine Composition #2 was inspired by the view from the artist’s studio window. “I used to look in at a power house on 16th Street where I was living, to get the feeling of power house; and then made my own.” Fascinated by their functional beauty, Pereira made machines the central focus of her work in the 1930s. In this study for a painting, she presents devices that appear to have been taken apart and reassembled into a fantastic, abstract creation. Although she appreciated the potential of mechanization to transform society, this drawing has menacing overtones that suggest ambivalence.
Graphic Masters II: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2009
paper - wove paper