Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

The Solidity of the Road to Metaphor and Memory

1934 Misha Reznikoff Born: Kabilia, Russia 1905 Died: New York, New York 1971 oil on canvas 30 1/2 x 40 3/8 in. (77.5 x 102.6 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Peter and Michael Reznikoff 1993.20 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 38B


Luce Center Label

The inscription “Neutrality Agreement” on the back of this painting implies that the image is about America’s involvement in Europe’s growing conflicts. It shows three strange figures, shaking hands across a train track. The person on the left thinks he is holding the hand of the figure directly opposite, when he is actually making a deal with the headless creature behind. This, together with the train tracks that lead nowhere, suggests that the “agreement” is a farce and holds no true meaning. Misha Reznikoff saw firsthand the devastation and misery of World War I during his childhood in Russia. This cast of surreal characters suggests that he saw no sincerity in the “deals” made between world leaders.

Keywords

Architecture - industry - railroad yard

Fantasy

Figure group

Literature - Cummings

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Misha Reznikoff

Born: Kabilia, Russia 1905 Died: New York, New York 1971

More works in the collection by
Misha Reznikoff

Share This Page