Artwork of the Week: September 2018 (Week 37)
Mahonri M. Young (1877-1957), The Pavers, c.1924, oil on canvas, 29 1/4 x 48 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.
The theme of labor appears many times in Mahonri Young’s paintings and sculptures. Growing up in Utah, this grandson of Brigham Young witnessed the backbreaking toil of the transcontinental railroad builders. He first began sketching workers in the streets of New York while studying at the Art Students League. Young considered his many portrayals of men at work a “tribute to honest toil,” but he was also drawn to the inherent aesthetic qualities of the figure in action. This painting of street pavers in France focuses on the physical action of the men and their rhythmic motions.