The Solidity of the Road to Metaphor and Memory

  • Misha Reznikoff, The Solidity of the Road to Metaphor and Memory, 1934, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Peter and Michael Reznikoff, 1993.20

Luce Center Label
The inscription “Neutrality Agreement” on the back of this painting implies that the image is about America’s involvement in Europe’s growing conflicts. It shows three strange figures, shaking hands across a train track. The person on the left thinks he is holding the hand of the figure directly opposite, when he is actually making a deal with the headless creature behind. This, together with the train tracks that lead nowhere, suggests that the “agreement” is a farce and holds no true meaning. Misha Reznikoff saw firsthand the devastation and misery of World War I during his childhood in Russia. This cast of surreal characters suggests that he saw no sincerity in the “deals” made between world leaders.
The Solidity of the Road to Metaphor and Memory
30 1/2 x 40 3/8 in. (77.5 x 102.6 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Peter and Michael Reznikoff

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Literature – Cummings
  • Architecture – industry – railroad yard
  • Fantasy
  • Figure group
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

More Artworks from the Collection