This landscape illuminates the life of farmers working in Long Island, New York. The painting represents a time period when suburbia begins to emerge, as viewers can see the juxtaposition between the cityscape in the background and the simplicity of the farming. Cheney uses an impressionist style to show the farmers working in the foreground, their cultivated land in the middle and the cityscape in the back. The painter demonstrates his formal training by his use of atmospheric perspective, our view becoming blurrier the farther we look into the distance. Looking more closely, we see brush strokes used to paint in a muddled yet meticulous way. Cheney's style of painting may have been influenced by the impressionist movement in Europe.
About the Artist: Born in Brookline, MA, Cheney attended Harvard University, where he trained with the Harvard ROTC. During 1918-19 he enlisted as a pilot specializing in aerial navigation, a background that seems to have influenced his art’s sometimes creative vantage points. Most of Cheney’s work was in lithography, often of western landscapes. He exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, City Art Museum of St. Louis, National Academy of Design, Los Angeles Museum, Paris Salon, and the Society of Independent Artists. In 1940 his lithograph “Winter Afternoon” was chosen to represent Vermont in the traveling exhibit “Contemporary Art of the United States,” which included contributions by artists Grant Wood, Georgia O’Keefe and N. C. Wyeth. 10 works at the National Gallery of Art. 7 works at Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 1 work at Detroit Institute of Arts. 1 work at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. 2 more images at FAP
Abigail Ritz (photography)
Elana Evenden (biography)
Ken Cooper (biography)
New Deal Gallery, Genesee Valley Council on the Arts
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