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Beach Profile

1953 David Park Born: Boston, Massachusetts 1911 Died: Berkeley, California 1960 oil on canvas 33 3/8 x 29 3/4 in. (84.8 x 75.6 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of Edith S. and Arthur J. Levin 2005.5.58 Not currently on view


Exhibition Label

In Beach Profile Park has reoriented a traditional beach scene ninety degrees, upending the normal orientation of sea and sand. This spatial distortion, which eliminates horizon and sky, reinforces the dramatic contrast in scale between the landscape and the profile. While the distance seems great, the lengthening shadow cast by the small figure on the beach touches the observer’s shoulder, suggesting a connection. The ambiguous relationship between the figures and the truncated space create a sense of mystery. 

Modern Masters: Midcentury Abstraction from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
, 2008

Keywords

Figure group

Landscape - beach

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About David Park

Born: Boston, Massachusetts 1911 Died: Berkeley, California 1960

More works in the collection by
David Park