George L. K. Morris, Posthumous Portrait, 1944, oil on fiberboard and plaster relief, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Patricia and Phillip Frost, 1986.92.67
Morris's abstract shapes suggest a great, helmeted head in a space filled with smaller soldiers and two stick figures of falling bodies. The sharp-edged rectangle on the right side of the face, and a much smaller one above, suggest bayonets. Bits of words cut off by these elements appear to spell "Boulangerie d'Alençon," perhaps a favorite bakery from Morris's Paris days.
Morris made several abstract paintings about the war in Europe. Like other artists who had been politically active in the 1930s, he felt he could do little but watch the devastation unfold. This work is a protest against Germany's brutality, but it is also a retreat-a poignant memory of better days when he and other Park Avenue Cubists enjoyed the pleasures that only Paris could provide.
Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006
- Not on view
sight 17 7/8 x 16 in. (45.4 x 40.7 cm.)
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of Patricia and Phillip Frost
- Mediums Description
- oil on fiberboard and plaster relief
- Object – letter
- Object Number
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