About this artwork
In Strange Worlds, the Ukrainian-born Jewish artist Todros Geller reflected on the complex blending of old world traditions and modern culture that characterized Chicago—what he termed the collision of many “strange worlds.” The painting depicts a traditionally dressed Jewish man staring guardedly out at the viewer from beneath the diagonal steel stairway of a Chicago “L” station. In the background, pedestrians and vehicles stream past, rendered by Geller in a swirling, modernist array of circles. The angular planes that fracture the space of the painting further reveal Geller’s interest in modern pictorial construction. Yet the old world vendor stands immobile, isolated from the fast-paced city that swirls around him, suggesting his resistance to modernity and change. This subject was of great significance to Geller, who also illustrated a sociological study focused on the challenges of assimilation faced by Chicago’s Jewish community.
- Todros Geller
- Strange Worlds
- United States
- Oil on canvas
- Signed lower left: TODROS / GELLER.
- 71.8 × 66.4 cm (28 1/4 × 26 1/8 in.)
- Gift of Leon Garland Foundation