Artwork of the Week: December 2018 (Week 50)
Julian Joseph (1882-1964), Snow in Streets, 1936, oil on canvas, 71.4 x 89.2 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of George R. Nicholson.
Julian Joseph is known for both impressionistic landscapes and expressionistic portrayals of urban life in New York City. This snowy composition includes both inclinations.
The bright sunlight, turquoise sky, and nearly-undisturbed coverage of the street suggest a storm has very recently passed, while the thick patches of snow stuccoed onto the mature tree trunks witness to the recent intensity of the westerly winds. Nearly bare branches inexplicably retain tangled clusters of autumnal leaves. Joseph’s perspectival rendering of the clapboard house strains credulity, but we can chalk that up to his modernity. It is the palette of this snowscape that reveals the artist’s mastery.