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A noted Color Field painter, Hines also produced a significant number of works on paper. This pair of drawings shows how carefully the artist planned his works. Although the final pastel seems simple, Hines used a graph paper study to make sure that the geometry was precise. While his later paintings are abstract in theme, his graphic works often allude to the natural world in their compositions and titles.

The pastel with its splayed triangles in various shades of tan for a tail, small cream-colored triangle for a head, larger yellow triangle for the body, and arched orange and pink shapes for wings suggests an abstracted peafowl. The soft texture created by the pastel medium on a toothy paper contrasts with the hard-edged aesthetic frequently associated with minimalism and adds a playful, child-like quality to the drawing, as does the unusual choice of colors for the peacock’s plumage.

Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collection also includes a schematic pencil study for this work (Eskenazi Museum of Art 2009.30). For more information on Hines and other works by this artist, see the museum’s African American Art web module.

Felrath Hines
American, 1913–1993
Oil pastel on watercolor paper
Image/sheet: 20 x 18 in (50.8 x 45.7 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of the wife of the artist, 2009.29

Large image not available.