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Business

A work made of oil and graphite on canvas.

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  • A work made of oil and graphite on canvas.

Date:

1921

Artist:

Charles Demuth
American, 1883–1935

About this artwork

Charles Demuth was fascinated by the industrial landscape of his native Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and depicted here a factory building head-on in a starkly linear composition. In choosing a flat subject that mimics the surface of the canvas, Demuth embraced the modernist ideal of unifying form and content. But the artist then irreverently painted a calendar onto the building’s windows—the days of the week surrounded by looming shadows. At a time when many Americans exalted industrialization in the name of progress, Business can instead be read as a critique of the dreary routines that already shaped 20th-century work. At his death, Demuth bequeathed this painting to his longtime friend and supporter Georgia O’Keeffe who later gave it to the Art Institute.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Arts of the Americas

Artist

Charles Demuth

Title

Business

Place

United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

1921

Medium

Oil and graphite on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed and dated lower right: Demuth / 1921

Dimensions

51 × 61.5 cm (20 × 24 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Alfred Stieglitz Collection

Reference Number

1949.529

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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