Image: Garden of Eden
(Chicago, Illinois, 1924 - 1981, Chicago, Illinois)

Garden of Eden , 1975

Oil on canvas
22 1/16 in. x 34 1/16 in. (56.04 cm x 86.52 cm)
Gift of the estate of Seymour Rosofsky
2001.15
Seymour Rosofsky was a leading figure among the generation of Chicago artists who adopted figuration as a preferred style in the 1950s. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rosofsky asserted that he and his peers wanted to “portray a more humanistic quality—including the mystical, social and emotional aspects of life.” Rosofsky, who characteristically drew upon his life experiences for his themes, painted 'Garden of Eden' at a time when his marriage was dissolving. The snake baring its teeth and rotted apple that separates the figures who turn away from each other may speak to tension in the artist’s life at the time.  Even the floral motifs surrounding Adam and Eve seem threatening in this walled landscape, which appears to be consuming its human occupants.  

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