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Morris Kantor



Afternoon

Born in Minsk, Russia, Morris Kantor came to the United States at fifteen, settling in New York. After working as a teenager in Manhattan’s garment district, he began taking classes in 1916 at the Independent School of Art, formerly the Henri School, under Homer Boss. Although Kantor showed strong affinities to Cubism and Futurism in his early works, he shifted toward more naturalistic modes following a stay in Paris in 1927, where he befriended artists Stuart Davis, Isamu Noguchi, and Andrée Ruellan.

Afternoon is likely a treatment of the shoreline on Cape Cod near Wellfleet. Its arcing coast, empty except for a rustic boathouse and three beached vessels, connects the sandy foreground and distant horizon through a long, rebounding curve that the clouds pick up in both color and shape. No person appears on the panoramic scene, yet the jaunty angles and animated detailing of manmade structures evoke the human presence.

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