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Row of Elevators

ca. 1928-1929 Clyfford Still Born: Grandin, North Dakota 1904 Died: Baltimore, Maryland 1980 oil on canvas 34 1/4 x 44 1/2 in. (87.0 x 112.9 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of International Business Machines Corporation 1969.128 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 36A


Luce Center Quote

"When I was a young man I painted many landscapes---especially of the prairie and of men and the machines with which they ripped a meager living from the thin top soil . . . yet always and inevitably with the rising forms of the vertical necessity of life dominating the horizon." The artist, 1972, quoted in Zilczer, Clyfford Still, Exhibition Catalogue, 2001

Luce Center Label

Clyfford Still painted Row of Elevators early in his career, and the scene probably shows a view near his family's farm in Alberta, Canada. The image suggests optimism at first, because the towering grain elevators, steam train, and tractor emphasize man's ability to work the land. But the abandoned machinery, subdued colors, and bleak vegetation evoke the underlying hardships faced by many farmers in order to survive.

Keywords

Architecture - industry - factory

Architecture - industry - grain elevator

Architecture - vehicle - train

Architecture - vehicle - truck

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Clyfford Still

Born: Grandin, North Dakota 1904 Died: Baltimore, Maryland 1980

More works in the collection by
Clyfford Still