American (1904 – 1967)

Design for America, 1934-35

Gouache painting on heavy paper. The artist also made a lithograph of the same title and similar date (Fine & Looney 115). Signed lower right in the image.

25 ¾ x 15 ½ inches

This outstanding gouache painting is in fine condition. Using the same composition for his lithograph and painting, Design for America glorifies the speed and dynamism of modern industrial America. Spruance contrasts the 19th century mode of transportation, a train, with a modern high-speed El train.  In a mural-like composition, Spruance uses his distinctive vibrant palette to create exaggerated and simplified rhythmic forms.  Spruance paintings from his most important period of the 1930s almost never appear on the market.