William Arnold Eyden
American Artist (1893-1982)
'Urban Street of L Train in Chicago'
Oil on canvas
18 x 24 in.
Eyden was the son of a prolific and prominent painter who came over to the U.S. from Germany in 1866. He grew up in Richmond, Indiana, and was taught by his father. Eyden was particularly gifted as an artist, and sought inspiration in the woods around it home state, as well as in the gritty streets of sprawling urban environments.
Much like his fellow Ash Can School artists, he wanted to create typically American compositions, and tried to convey through his work seemingly candid views of the modern urban denizens. His depictions of busy traffic intersections, clothing flapping in the wind on the roofs of buildings, the rush of the L train through the city streets, and interiors of seedy hotels came to represent America s first native art movement.
Eyden depicts this busy urban scene in a highly painterly fashion. The artist succeeds in dematerializing space thanks to his use of loose brushwork and modulation of warm, muted tonalities He was inspired by the Impressionists and their use of light to diffuse color and form. A luminescent cascade of evanescent, chromatic harmonies energize this radiant composition and add a breezy spontaneity to the pictorial surface.