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Horse and Riders

© Estate of Ellen Lanyon. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion

Horse and Riders

Artist: Ellen Lanyon (Born in Chicago, Illinois, 1926–2013)
Culture: American
Date: 1965
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
90 × 70 inches (228.6 × 177.8 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: Gift of Roland Ginzel
Label Text:Ellen Lanyon often painted commonplace and unrelated subjects in fanciful ways, reimagining their purposes and actions. Her works are a combination of surrealist imagery and Americana that suggest a homespun, Pop Art sensibility. Horse and Riders presents a mash-up of Lanyon’s interest in magazine illustrations, animals, and illusive narratives. She draws inspiration from a 1965 program from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus. Preferring only to depict female figures, Lanyon removes the men from the program for her painting. She retains dominant elements, like the dramatic composition, which conveys the athleticism and skill necessary to execute this acrobatic feat. Although a circus location is suggested, Lanyon characteristically omits information, leaving the setting open to the imagination.
Provenance: By bequest from the artist to Roland Ginzel.
Object number: 2014.15.2