DescriptionTHOMAS HART BENTON (American, 1889-1975)
Construction Workers on Building (Study for Excavation), circa 1927
Crayon on paper
12 x 10-1/4 inches (30.5 x 26.0 cm) (sheet)
Signed upper right: Benton
Inscribed on mount verso: Crayon Drawing ... Construction Workers on Building / Signed pencil matted/showing 8-1/4 x 8-1/4
Robert E. Neuse, New York, acquired from the above;
The Neuse family, New York, by descent;
Acquired by the present owner from the above.
As early as 1923 Benton was drawing and painting urban construction subjects. In 1923 he completed an elaborate scene of workers building New York high-rises (Benton Trust, Kansas City, Missouri), and in 1927 painted a sparer, more abstract composition to which the present drawing relates. This later exploration of the theme, entitled Excavation, was a work Benton exhibited at the National Academy of Design. A photo of Benton together with Excavation (now lost) appeared under the headline "'Wild Art' of Radicals Enters Staid Academy," on the front page of New York American, March 24, 1927.
Light paper discoloration; sheet appears to be slightly undulating horizontally under mat; dots of foxing in upper right and lower right quadrants; two spots of surface soiling near lower left and center bottom edges; not examined outside of frame; framed under glass. Framed Dimensions 21 X 17 Inches
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