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Manhattan Mosaic

George Copeland Ault

American Art

In Manhattan Mosaic, George Copeland Ault’s narrow view of urban rooftops transforms the buildings into an abstract mosaic in which architectural elements are considered purely as an aesthetic arrangement of planes and angles. The play of overlapping shapes, the harmonious blend of brown tonalities, and the deep shadows created by strong light emphasize the rich visual geometries of the modern city. At the same time, the composition’s tightly enclosed rooftop space reveals only a small view of the sky in the distance, suggesting a feeling of claustrophobia and anxiety that some associated with urban life.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1947
DIMENSIONS 31 7/8 x 18 in. (81 x 45.7 cm) Frame: 37 1/2 x 23 1/2 x 2 3/4 in. (95.3 x 59.7 x 7 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower left: "G. C. Ault '47"
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION George Copeland Ault (American, 1891–1948). Manhattan Mosaic, 1947. Oil on canvas, 31 7/8 x 18 in. (81 x 45.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 66.127 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 66.127_PS1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 66.127_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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