Abraham Rattner, Farmscape

Abraham Rattner: Farmscape (1955) Oil on canvas
Oil on canvas
Credit Line
Gift of Jack Bershad, 1997
28 5/8 x 36 1/4 in.

Abraham Rattner simplifies and reduces a farm scene to shape, color, and texture, using the structure of a grid as an organizing device. Thick, rich areas of pink and gold are juxtaposed in the composition.

Rattner was born in Poughkeepsie, New York and although he was personally familiar with Claude Monet, he was more stylistically aligned with the likes of Georges Rouault and Pablo Picasso.

His university training began in architecture at George Washington University, but he quickly decided to concentrate on painting after taking courses at the Corcoran School of Art.

At the outbreak of WWI, he was recruited as a camouflage specialist by Homer Saint-Gaudens, son of the famous sculpture Augustus Saint-Gaudens. In addition to researching camouflage for the arm, Rattner would serve at the front in several battles in France, and receive a back wound that would plague him the rest of his life.

After the war, Rattner returned to the United States, continued his studies in the arts, and would come to teach at several prestigious art schools along the East Coast.

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