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Road (The Pink Road; Drawing of Road)

Not on view

Road (The Pink Road; Drawing of Road)

Artist: Charles Burchfield (American, 1893 - 1967)

Date: 1916
Medium: Transparent watercolor and graphite on white wove watercolor paper
Overall: 20 x 13 7/8in. (50.8 x 35.2cm)
Signed: Signed and dated lower left (graphite): Chas. E. Burchfield 1916-
Inscribed: Inscribed verso center: "The Road / July 11, 1916"
Credit Line: Edward W. Root Bequest
Object number: 57.92
Label Text
Why is This Watercolor Unfinished?

Burchfield left no record explaining why sections of this watercolor are unfinished. There are many examples by other artists of similar, uncompleted works of art. Instances of this are frequently seen in a class of works called sketches or preliminary studies, which artists generally made for their own purposes and never expected the public would see.

Root clearly liked this unfinished drawing well enough to purchase it in February 1929 from the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery. Although he left no information about why he bought this work, the energetic graphite lines on the left side of the sheet, interspersed with the color notations indicating the type of watercolor washes Burchfield planned to paint there, provide insights about the artistic process, a subject Root thought and wrote about throughout his lifetime. In 1922 Root wrote, "almost every kind of pictorial motive is to be discovered" in a drawing: "movement, construction, design, composition, the poetry of light and shade."

The Burchfield Penney Art Center, as a representative of the Charles E. Burchfield Foundation, manages the copyright of all works produced by Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967).