Girl in Swing

  • Paul Wonner, Girl in Swing, 1957, oil, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Ruth J. Chase in memory of Dr. William Chase, 1997.45

Exhibition Label

Although the Girl in Swing appears to be a spontaneous impression, Wonner sketched the composition in advance, then cropped the image to give the scene its you-are-there immediacy. In the original sketch an empty swing sits in the middle of a swath of green grass. In the final version, Wonner added the seated figure, pushed the swing hard against the left edge, added a small table, and allowed the field of yellow-green paint at the right to command almost half the surface. Wonner’s commitment to painting figurative canvases with drips, spatters and loose, free brushstrokes was shared by his friends David Park, Nathan Oliveira, and, for a time Richard Diebenkorn, who in the late 1950s were dubbed San Francisco Bay Area figurative painters.

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

Girl in Swing
On View
Not on view.
52 5/8 x 46 1/4 in. (133.7 x 117.5 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Ruth J. Chase in memory of Dr. William Chase

  • Recreation – sport and play – swinging
  • Landscape – farm
Object Number
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