A Record of Industry
Following principles laid by the Ashcan School and famed Modernists, contemporary artists paint America’s industrial landscapes.
In a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, cemetery, on a gray, sleety morning, Joe Paquet stood working at his French easel. The cemetery offered the best view of the subject Paquet had come to paint: a shuttered steel factory, silent as the grave markers surrounding him. As he painted in the numbing cold, Paquet became aware of an elderly man who had stopped nearby, watching for a long while. Finally, the man spoke without turning from the factory. “My grandfather worked there. My father worked there. I worked there,” he said. “We never thought it would end.”