Artwork of the Week: June 7
Lee Greene Richards (1878-1950), Sunflowers, 1930, oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 25 1/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1937.
Choosing the quintessential summer flower, Richards’ work showcases a vibrant floral arrangement of golden yellow sunflowers in a handmade terracotta pot set against a cobalt blue screen. The juxtaposition and intensity of colors creates an engaging visual experience for the viewer. Loose painterly brushstrokes further enliven the simple rustic subject by suggesting a play of light on the textures of the table beneath the flowers and the screen behind. Richards paints each sunflower as if it were a singular portrait; the uniqueness and irresistible charm of the individual bloom reminds us to turn our faces heavenward before gratefully bowing our heads.