Modern Cycle

  • Grace Hartigan, Modern Cycle, 1967, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection, 1980.137.33

Exhibition Label
Engine parts, a headlight, gas tank, and handle bars are intermingled with a zippered motorcycle jacket sleeve, a rider, women’s legs, and other less identifiable forms in Modern Cycle. Hartigan, then a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, explained her choice of subject: “My male students at the time were obsessed with motorcycles—one even kept his in his studio—and out of sheer self-preservation I bought a poster of Brando on a bike and Peter Fonda, some cycle magazines, pinned them on my painting wall and Modern Cycle was the result. It is, incidentally, one of my favorite paintings.”

Modern Masters: Midcentury Abstraction from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2008
Modern Cycle
On View
Not on view.
78 1/2 x 108 1/2 in. (199.4 x 275.6 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Abstract
  • Figure
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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