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.

Title
The Solidity of the Road to Metaphor and Memory
Artist
Date
1934
On View
Dimensions
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
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Literature – Cummings
  • Architecture – industry – railroad yard
  • Fantasy
  • Figure group
Object Number
1993.20
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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