DescriptionFROM THE ESTATE OF DR. EDMUND P. PILLSBURY
MICHAEL ECONOMOS (American, 20th Century)
Grass Series #13, 1972
Acrylic on canvas
40 x 40 inches (101.6 x 101.6 cm)
Signed and dated lower right, and signed, titled and dated on the reverse
Warren Benedek Gallery, New York, April 1973
Ted and Mireille Pillsbury's daughter, Christine, remembers that this painting hung in her bedroom when she was young, and that she used to have haunting dreams about it. Like all good still lifes it has something not still about it, notably an implied narrative about who last touched these crumpled cans, and why they were left stranded so unceremoniously on the ground. Indeed, as the artist admits, "I consider my paintings to be visual novels. The journey of my life dictates what I paint."
The artist is a professor of painting and drawing at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, where he has taught for almost half a century. At the start of his career, Economos spent ten "challenging" years in New York. His reaction to the challenge was to explore the sad reality of debris living in the smallest pockets of New York grass. The result was a series of paintings of grass paired with familiar objects, such as cans of Coke and Colt 45, to which the present work belongs. After his first show in New York, Art Forum referred to his work as containing "vanitas elements such as melancholy, nostalgia, and the passing of time." After a decade of commuting from New York to MICA, he had enough and settled in Maryland, where he discovered the Chesapeake Bay and bought himself a sailboat. The new challenges in his life were no longer the urban realities of the city but in capturing the color and light refraction of the water.
In good consition aside from faint surface soiling, faint surface scratches, corners lightly bumped, not framed
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