John Pike - Village Green [1945]

Village Green shows a congested square where cars, bicycles, and horse-drawn carriages compete for space on the narrow roads. The image suggests the effects of war on the home front: a soldier in the foreground greets an elderly neighbour, a group of children play “war” in the square, a sign advertises a Red Cross blood drive, and an honour roll lists the names of local boys serving overseas. John Pike (Boston, Massachusetts, 1911 - Woodstock, New York, 1979) painted this image in 1945, when World War II was ending and he was posted to Asia as an artist-correspondent. The thin layers of paint, colours, and bird’s-eye view create a hazy, sentimental image that evokes a distant memory, as if recalled by someone far from home.

[Oil on fibreboard, 61.4 x 76.6 cm]