Sonja Sekula The Town of the Poor 1951

  • Not on view

This painting likely shows the view outside Sekula’s downtown studio in New York City. The artist, who immigrated to the United States from Switzerland, wrote: “Looking outside my window, I think of all the . . . poets and artists who represent their outlook on this strange country and I . . . realize that I shall be one of them.” Look closely for what she might have seen outside her window, like people or buildings. What else do you notice?

Kids label from 2022
Additional text

The ghostly scaffolding, swooping calligraphic lines, and blue and yellow washes of this painting most likely depict the view from Sekula’s downtown New York studio, which she shared with composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham. “Looking outside my window,” wrote this Swiss painter and poet, an immigrant to the United States, “I think of all the contemporary American poets and artists who represent their outlook on this strange country and I find myself beginning to realize that I shall be one of them. I shall begin to speak of . . . a future that we begin to feel underneath the current of war and strife and uncertainty.”

Gallery label from 2019
Oil on canvas
66 × 90" (167.6 × 228.6 cm)
Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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