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Cubist Still Life

Cubist Still Life, 1945, Oil
Edward Loper, Sr. (American, 1916 – 2011)

Edward Loper, Sr. is an African American artist from Delaware. Growing up, Loper did not receive any training in art. However, he worked for the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression, getting his start in artistic production. Later, Loper frequently visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art to teach himself art by observing the works of the masters. In 1937, Loper became the first African American to have a painting accepted into the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts (now the Delaware Art Museum). Loper began painting with an interest in the landscapes of his surrounding neighborhood, transitioning into creating more still lifes and scenes influenced by the works of Pablo Picasso. Cubist Still Life was created during this period, as evidenced by its subject matter and style. The work depicts an arrangement of objects in a kaleidoscopic manner—a derivative of cubism—where objects are sectioned into various gradations of light and shade.