Fall Plowing

Viola, Iowa, USA
Oil on canvas
Courtesy of the John Deere Art Collection
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A regionalist counterpoint to the scenes of industrial city life popular during this period, Grant Wood’s Fall Plowing captures the fields near in his home state of Iowa, suspending nature and industry in a delicate balance. The visual language of Fall Plowing further emphasizes the evolution from tradition to innovation, with the rolling country hills executed in rational, geometric forms that echo the clean lines and curves of the plow at the center. In Fall Plowing, Wood has depicted the rural purity of the landscape while illustrating the importance of changing technology to the development of the agricultural American Midwest. Wood is not alone in this increasingly modernist vision of rural life: separated by hundreds of miles and divergent national histories, Wood’s Fall Plowing nonetheless resonates with Canadian artist Anne Savage’s The Plough both in subject and composition.