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Paul Wonner
Girl in Swing
1957
oil
52 5/8 x 46 1/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Ruth J. Chase in memory of Dr. William Chase



Girl in Swing strikes a balance between the tangible world and the painting's abstract reality. A triangular planting field, freely brushed in high-keyed tones, is itself a field of paint. Legs and arms truncated by the frame, the figure is moved to the margin of the canvas. Her clothing merges with the seat, and the form of her arm dissolves into her dress. Except for her sunstruck shoulders, she seems fused with the swing, in strong contrast to the clarity of the still life of package, glass, and spoon.