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Rubber Plant by Marsden Hartley
Rubber Plant by Marsden Hartley

Rubber Plant, 1920

Marsden Hartley

This rather somber semi-Cubist still life shows a rubber plant on a tabletop. Its form is readily recognizable, though the background is constructed of a jumble of geometric planes and the table is also broken down into angular layers. The artist, Hartley, considered it a portrait of isolation and rootlessness, qualities you could infer from the dark color palette, heavy, block-like forms and the rubber plant’s strikingly black leaves.

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