Red Head by Rhoda Yanow

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Red Head by Rhoda Yanow

Painting NameRed Head
Painter NameRhoda Yanow
Current LocationPrivate collection

Red Head is Rhoda Yanow’s pastel-on-paper masterpiece. The work is one among many of his illustrations on Americans and their way of life. Since many of Yanow’s works represent the common masses we can never miss seeing every day, they probably have stories talking about similar things. However, Red Head caught my attention, because it is an ingenious ‘objectification of a woman’, although not so much as it is an objectification of American life. These subtleties are important for me when I look at a painting and try to put a value on it.

The pastel work has a lilting note to it, and I would personally have it hung in a partially obstructed wall, but which has a specially bright light. Given the regular size of this pastel-on-paper, you could be having more than just fascination for the unknowingly seductive woman there. She is all in the picture without knowing that she is setting the mood for a bourbon as the sun sets on her American town.

A Red Head may be proud of her hair, but a little blonde shading could be unavoidable in the hyperactive urban atmosphere that shrouds her little world. Although she has her bottom heavily sunken into a bed that she defends with her feminine ego, her eyes are all-inviting and perhaps deserving of a little attention on the inside. At the same time, she seems to be unaware of her clothes sliding across the limits of ‘traditional decency’.

Yanow has been one of the most influential American artists with a pop-art branding, but his works on women, groups of friends, lazy people in the park and city life make him very much a part of the soil. Moreover, his contribution to detailing and depth in Red Head definitely has something to do with a complex character he must have dashed across, but well enough to make her immortal.


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