Candy

Media - 1994.53 - SAAM-1994.53_1 - 67583
Copied Robert Cottingham, Candy, 1979, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 1994.53, © 1979, Robert Cottingham

Artwork Details

Title
Candy
Date
1979
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
78 1878 18 in. (198.4198.4 cm.)
Copyright
© 1979, Robert Cottingham
Credit Line
Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Architecture Exterior — detail — awning
  • Object — other — sign
  • Architecture Exterior — commercial — store
Object Number
1994.53

Artwork Description

The angled and cropped composition of this painting reflects Cottingham's work in an ad agency, as well as his tendency to use the camera as a "high-speed sketchbook." At just over six- feet square, Candy replicates the look of the small shops and catchy trade signs in a Brooklyn neighborhood. But the absence of a human figure keeps the image from being too literal. Instead, the intense lights and shadows, a gently flapping awning, and a stain of rust streaming down the center of the image make the viewer feel not just that he is there, but that he has always been there. In this canvas, Cottingham paints generations of memory, what he calls "the trail of people," in a disappearing New York community. The signs for soda and candy suggest the distance between intense childhood pleasures and the faded expectations of adults.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006