Above the Farm (state IV from Flatscape series)

 Above the Farm II, State IV from Flatscape Series

Harold Gregor (b. 1929)

Above the Farm II, State IV (from the Flatscape Series)

1990

linocut

Galesburg Civic Art Center Permanent Collection

Born in Detroit, Gregor is a contemporary artist who draws inspiration from the local rural landscapes of Bloomington, Illinois, where he currently lives. This print depicts an aerial perspective from a four-seater Cessna 180 plane from which the artist annually took photos. The aerial view and spatial properties of the vibrant colors challenge traditional understanding of the Midwestern plains. The lack of an horizon line and the alternating bright yellow and blue tones compress the space and transforms the photorealist image into an abstract pattern of geometric shapes. In his depiction of farming land, Gregor’s reference to photographic technology suggests the tension between modern industrial forces in the Midwest and its traditional rural identity. The expressive panoramic vision and rich colors evoke the sublime beauty of the Midwest. Gregor’s view also implies a sense of agricultural abundance and a nationalistic belief in the open, democratic freedom of the American landscape.

Zuri Peterson

Seeing the Midwestern Landscape
Above the Farm (state IV from Flatscape series)