Painted landscapes representing the idyllic American life today and in the past

Nov 19, 2009

Grant Wood, Stone City, Iowa, 1930. Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska.

The American landscape has drastically changed in the last century.   In many parts of the country, what was once rural has become urban.  Grant Wood is noted as being one of the first American painters to address the theme of rural preservation.  In a time of tremendous industrial growth and hardship (the 1930s), Wood's romanticized landscape paintings of the mid-West became images of hope and idealism for many.

Laura Von Rosk, Untitled, oil on wood, 14" x 12", 2009.

Fast forward 80 years later, there's a new economic crisis and an American artist creating beautiful scenes of lush and fertile landscapes.  For the last decade, Laura Von Rosk has been painting images of expansive lands and waters.  She states, 

By using elements of the landscape I hope to create a kind of new reality, where memory is mixed and intertwined with an emotional response, to produce a different psychological experience, and a new interpretation of place.

Like Wood, Von Rosk focuses on form and pattern to create dimension and distance.  The use of bright, saturated colors are also used by both artists to enhance the dream-like qualities of their paintings. I've arranged the works below to show the similar stylistic compositions of both artists.

Grant Wood, Near Sundown, oil on canvas, 1933.

Laura Von Rosk, March Hills, oil on wood, 12" x 14", 2005.  

Grant Wood
, Young Corn, 1931. Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

  Laura Von Rosk, Untitled, oil on wood, 10" x 12", 2008.

Grant Wood, Fall Plowing, 1931.

Laura Von Rosk, Champlain Valley, oil on wood, 12" x 12", 2002.


Tina Anderson said...

Another lovely breath of beautiful air on this gray Thursday. Thank you, Cathy.

Aaron McMurray said...

Call me sentimental, but I love that first Grant Wood piece.

Cathy said...

Grant Wood's most famous piece is American Gothic, but I favor Stone City, too.

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