Forms No Hard Carbon

Artist:Unknown
Date:1920s
Medium:Oil on Stretched Canvas
Dimensions:Sight Size 17 3/4" x 27" Framed 20 3/4" x 30 1/4"
Condition:Excellent
Original Use:Advertising Art for Motor Oil
Price:$4500.00
Above: Full view of oil painting
Above: Detail

This powerful example of golden age American illustration art explores the tension between past and future presented in the early motor age. In this affecting unsigned image, the cliche of the Western Americana "Westward Ho" expansion scene is reinterpreted through the addition of an up-to-the-minute flapper girl in an adorable cloche hat. Beneath our heroine--who, along with her car, is checked out by a cowboy attired service attendant--text reads "Forms No Hard Carbon."

Above: Detail
Above: Detail

This looks like it might have been created for a Shell oil advertising campaign as the right hand edge of the painting appears to have the edge of a Shell sign entering the image area.

Above: Verso of relined back canvas
Above: Framed view

From the estate of Charles Martignette, this is unsigned but could be the work of Charles Chambers who was active and very prolific at the time in the advertising and magazine illustration world. We have included for comparison a signed Charles Chambers example below. In both of these automotive age expansion scenes, the flapper in the red hat clearly looks to be the same model and the thematic similarities abound.

Above: A similar in themed signed Charles Chambers oil painting for comparison purposes


 

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