Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fields, Normamby Township, 1936 by Carl Schaefer

Carl Shaefer is accredited with painting this work in 1936 - the same year that Paraskeva Clark painted her wheat field.  While similar in subject, they both have profound differences.

Shaefer's wheat field takes place on a much more level playing field and unlike Paraskeva, his field sits comfortably within its environment and it repeats itself into the horizon.  Paraskeva's work had a defined statement that the crop had dominion over those who farmed it.

Notice how Shaefer gives man dominion over the land.  The barn sits near the centre, along the horizon, and the rows of wheat run towards it like rays of the sun. Shaefer also has a clunkier style which gives his work the suggestion that the woodlots are subject to the design and control of human hands. Also, Paraskeva's trees and wooded areas are much greener than Shaefer's. The colour of the wheat field is picked up by the surrounding trees and woodlots.

Its interesting to see, how his blanket of wheat is stitched by fence lines into a sort of pastoral unity.  And, if we look at this in a social context, it reflects a somewhat homogenous society where people share common attitudes and belief systems.

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