Born: New York, New York 1914
Died: Yonkers, New York 1997
oil on canvas 49 3/4 x 104 in. (126.4 x 264.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Maurice and Margo Cohen, Birmingham, MI
© 1966, Estate of Ralph Fasanella
Smithsonian American Art Museum
3rd Floor, North Wing
By the mid-1960s, Fasanella was disheartened by the arrogance and self-centeredness that, to him, defined the counterculture movement. Modern Times proposes a futuristic urban scene in which an impersonal and technological society has displaced one of humanity and unity.
Fasanella completed this work following Pope Paul VI’s 1965 visit to Yankee Stadium. In it he contrasts humanistic subjects such as the papal visit, images of workers, protesters, strikers, and returning soldiers with the detached, intellectual side of society—the worlds of science, technology, and fine arts. Fasanella felt the elitist art world had pigeonholed him as “primitive and stupid.” He ardently believed that art didn’t have to be aloof or conceptual; it was a tool to be wielded like a hammer.
Cityscape - imaginary
Figure(s) in exterior - urban
paint - oil
fabric - canvas
About Ralph Fasanella
Born: New York, New York 1914 Died: Yonkers, New York 1997
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