Chicago Winter with Red Building
Tunis Ponsen (American; Dutch, 1891 – 1968)
Datemid 20th century
MediumOil on canvas
DimensionsFrame : 38 1/2 x 34 in. (97.79 x 86.36 cm)
Credit LineGift of John '54 and Reda '57 Santinga
LabelAmerican Scene painting refers to the uncoordinated efforts of many different 20th century artists to create artworks that portrayed and celebrated ordinary American life. American Scene artists typically rejected the avant-garde art styles that were fashionable in Europe and instead favored styles that were naturalistic and descriptive. Chicago-based artist Tunis Ponsen succinctly summed up the approach of many American Scene painters when asked by a newspaper reporter in 1932 about what he was trying to communicate through his art. Ponsen answered the reporter: “You know, I just paint the thing I see the way I feel it. I have no particular theories. I just try to paint well.” The fluid brushstrokes and relatively simple color palette evident in this painting of a mundane urban landscape near Ponsen’s home on the south side of Chicago are typical of his work from the 1930s and 40s.