Man in a Vest

William H. Johnson, Man in a Vest, 1939-40, oil on canvas

“And even if I have studied for many years and all over the world, . . . I have still been able to preserve the primitive in me. . . . My aim is to express in a natural way what I feel, what is in me, both rhythmically and spiritually, all that which in time has been saved up in my family of primitiveness and tradition, and which is now concentrated in me.” — William H. Johnson

With its minimal palette of contrasting colours and clean, simple lines Man in a Vest expresses brilliantly Mr Johnson’s quote, don’t you find?

Smithsonian American Art Museum

April 25th, 2017