An abstracted painting of hooded penitents during Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Seville, Spain. Semana Santa, the week just before Easter in Christianity, is observed with public processions of penitential confraternities and pasos (floats) through the city streets. Ralston Crawford eliminated the spectators and the streets, focusing in closely on at least five penitents in hoods and robes, reducing them to the essence of their forms, flattened and stacked. They are flat planes of color; there is no shading to suggest the drape of their hoods or robes, no eyeholes in the hoods to hint at the figures underneath.
Crawford’s last series, begun in 1970, centered around images of Semana Santa in Seville, Spain. Crawford first traveled to Spain in the 1930s, visiting Mallorca and possibly Seville. He returned after World War II, making at least five trips to Seville in the 1950s and ’60s. The exact dates of some of these trips have yet to be pinpointed, but in the early 1970s Crawford documented three trips to Seville for Holy Week.
Estate of the Artist;
By descent to the Artist’s son, Neelon Crawford, Wyoming;
[Menconi & Schoelkopf, New York, NY];
New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. Ralston Crawford, October 3, 1985-February 2, 1986, pp. 127-128, 158, ill. p. 128, no. 140.
Laramie, Wyoming. University of Wyoming Art Museum. Ralston Crawford: The Artist’s Eye, August 23-December 20, 2014, pp. 23, 112, 181, ill. p. 112.
Agee, William C. Ralston Crawford. Pasadena, CA: Twelve Tree Press, 1983, pp. 18-19, 65-66; ill. pl. 65.
Artner, Alan G. “Retrospective Honors Abstract Expressionist,” Chicago Tribune, November 7, 1985, ill.
Shinn, Dorothy, “An exhibit in tune with the times,” Akron Beacon Journal, October 23, 1986.