Robert Spencer, Waterloo Row

c. 1917–18
Oil on canvas
Credit Line
Museum purchase, 2011
25 x 30 in.

Spencer captures the atmosphere of a cloudy day at a busy construction site. The mood is somberly poetic with an even gray light covering every inch of the canvas. A Pennsylvania Impressionist, Spencer rendered the sensation of his landscapes rather than faithfully depicting every detail. Using Impressionistic techniques like the direct application of paint that can be seen in the short strokes of blue and white in the sky, the artist created forms that hover between legibility and illegibility, dissolving the boundaries separating representation from abstraction.

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