Missouri Wheat Farmers BY JOE JONES
Just Thirty Years Old-he was born in St. Louis, where he still lives, Joe jones has for some years been
one of the most excitedly discussed artists in America.
Entirely self-taught, he won prizes at various exhibits in his early twenties, and in 1937 was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship.
He has been hailed as a proletarian artist because of his exclusive interest in the lives and
work of laborers, and because he is vocally a member of the Communist Party.
His principal admirations in painting are, he says,
“El Greco, Titian, Daumier, Goya, Rembrandt, Rubens, Picasso, George Grosz, and Orozco.”
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In view of this extraordinary catholicity of taste, it is gratifying to discover in
Mr. Jones himself an artist of considerable originality.
Missouri Wheat Farmers makes brilliant use, in building up a very handsome design, of such
paraphernalia of trade as a thick-soled shoe, a round straw hat and a crushed felt one, overalls, and wheat bags.
Extreme simplification of texture and outline, a brilliant useoflightcorning
from one side and producing almost sculptural shadows on the other,
a welcome absence of the underscoring from which so much “proletarian” art suffers-in short,
a willingness to let clearly envisioned and adeptly set down reality
bring its own persuasions to bear-make
Mr. Jones’ comment on two men at rather dull work a beautiful picture to see.