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5. Industries of California


Ralph Stackpole | fresco | 10 feet by 36 feet
Sculptor Ralph Stackpole painted this synthesis of industrial activities in California to counterbalance the agricultural panel by Maxine Albro. Noted usually for his three-dimensional works, he here creates large modeled shapes in the industrial pipes, barrels, storage tanks, and machinery characterized by the convoluted plastic forms reminiscent of Rivera's murals, especially in Detroit.

In contrast to the rounded bulges of the large background mechanisms, the human figures have a flat, two-dimensional pencil-sketch quality as the chemists go about their work. In keeping with the brown-grey tones of the subject matter, the artist chose a rather subdued palette.

 Industries of California