Row of Elevators

  • Clyfford Still, Row of Elevators, ca. 1928-1929, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of International Business Machines Corporation, 1969.128

Clyfford Still painted Row of Elevators early in his career, and the scene probably shows a view near his family’s farm in Alberta, Canada. The image suggests optimism at first, because the towering grain elevators, steam train, and tractor emphasize man’s ability to work the land. But the abandoned machinery, subdued colors, and bleak vegetation evoke the underlying hardships faced by many farmers in order to survive.

When I was a young man I painted many landscapes—especially of the prairie and of men and the machines with which they ripped a meager living from the thin top soil … yet always and inevitably with the rising forms of the vertical necessity of life dominating the horizon.” The artist, 1972, quoted in Zilczer, Clyfford Still, Exhibition Catalogue, 2001
Row of Elevators
ca. 1928-1929
34 1444 12 in. (87.0112.9 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of International Business Machines Corporation

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Architecture – vehicle – truck
  • Architecture – industry – factory
  • Architecture – industry – grain elevator
  • Architecture – vehicle – train
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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