A figure painter known from the 1930s on for his baldly satirical commentaries on human appetites and desires, Paul Cadmus was throughout a master draftsman. Although he undertook still-life subjects only rarely and, as he once stated, as “practice works like scales,” he achieved parity between figure and still life in Mobile. Here, a beautifully proportioned young man holds a mobile composed of beach detritus (wood, feathers, shells, and bones) in a delicate state of balance—a reference to the weightlessness of spent forms, and a meditation on mortality.
Image: 15 3/4 x 18 1/4 in. (40 x 46.4 cm)
Sheet: 18 7/8 x 21 1/8 in. (47.9 x 53.7 cm) (show scale)
Signed, "LXXV 72/ Cadmus" middle of composition in colored graphite
Inscribed at bottom by artist "Completed Serigraph 'Mobile' print no. 72 edition of 75 (print reproduced in monograph" in colored graphite
Gift of the artist
This item is not on view
Paul Cadmus (American, 1904-1999). Mobile, 1953. Serigraph, Image: 15 3/4 x 18 1/4 in. (40 x 46.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the artist, 68.164.1. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.68.164.1.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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