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Automobile Tires

Guy Pène du Bois

American Art

Pène du Bois's early training with Robert Henri stimulated his interest in painting scenes of contemporary life. Unlike Henri, however, he was not concerned with picturing the urban poor and specialized in revealing the foibles of high-society men and women, portraying them in the elegant milieus of private clubs and smart cafés. Many of Pène du Bois's paintings contain a strikingly humorous element of satire. Here the elevated vantage point reduces the figures in their rounded plush seats to tubular shapes reminiscent of the automobile tires of the painting's title, prompting us to wonder whether the two should be interpreted to be as dull and spiritually lifeless as a pair of rubber tires.

MEDIUM Oil on panel
DATES 1915
DIMENSIONS 19 7/8 x 15 in. (50.5 x 38.1 cm) Frame: 25 3/4 x 20 1/2 in. (65.4 x 52.1 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed and dated lower right: "Guy Pene du Bois '15"
INSCRIPTIONS Signed verso in pen, partially obscured by label: "Automobile . . . / Guy Pene d. . . / 1915"
CREDIT LINE Gift of Chester Dale
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Guy Pène du Bois (American, 1884-1958). Automobile Tires, 1915. Oil on panel, 19 7/8 x 15 in. (50.5 x 38.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Chester Dale, 63.148.2 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.63.148.2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, CUR.63.148.2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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