Untitled (Movie Camera)

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“Other parts of the [Hollywood] painting have their bold color combinations, dramatic foreshortening, and strong lighting, but this somewhat shaded, relatively small passage reminds us of a critical strain in Benton’s paintings and drawings, and one that dominates his Hollywood pictures: the integration of linear details into a dynamic but orderly whole. These dual, interdependent objectives are found in various measures throughout the artists’ oeuvre, but they are especially evident in the Hollywood drawings of cameras, microphones, lights and film – and sound-editing equipment.” – Leo G. Mazow, American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood

“Part of the visceral appeal of the Hollywood drawings – such as Untitled (Movie Camera) and Untitled (Movie Set), resides in the almost obsessive attention to detail.” – Leo G. Mazow, American Epics, Machinery of the Industry

A Tour of Hollywood | Drawings by Thomas Hart Benton

“Some while back [in 1937], Thomas Benton, the highly-rated American artist, was despatched to the West Coast to paint a composite picture of life in Hollywood. The half-dozen drawings reproduced in this portfolio are among the by-products of that mission to Hollywood. They range from sketches on the spot to labored elaborations of sketches. The artist’s base of operations was the couch in the luxuriously appointed office of Raymond Griffith, one of the producers for 20th Century Fox. From this couch he made forays into the vast departmentalized domain that is a major moving picture studio, and also a little beyond.” – Harry Salpeter, A Tour of Hollywood: Drawings by Thomas Hart Benton

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