Help me identify an artist with nothing to go on but my hazy memories.
April 29, 2008 4:47 PM   Subscribe

Have you had a Harper's subscription since 1995? Have you been saving the back issues? Because....

There was an issue published in the mid to late 90s that had a long insert (on different paper stock) on growing opium poppies- the ins and outs of legality, how to procure seeds, etc... Well, my question is not about that article. Also, in that issue (I think, I hope) there was a picture of a painting that I have never gotten out of my head. And now I'm determined to find the artist.

It is an expressionist-ish landscape painting with a perspective of looking down at a slant, on farm fields, criss- crossed with roads and power lines... I think there might be a car on one of the roads. There is a lot of distortion. You ask: Distortion in the image or distortion in your memory? The answer is, Yes.

It has been a VERY long time since I have seen it and I hope my memory serves me correctly that it is, indeed, in this particular Harper's issue (the one about opium), and that it does resemble my description.

I'm not near a library that would have the back issues.

Thanks in advance. I know this is pretty obscure.
posted by mistsandrain to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Is this the article? Just to help nail down which issue you're after.
posted by iconomy at 4:51 PM on April 29, 2008

I'll be seconding iconomy on the article--my searches resulted in two articles on opium poppies, from 1983 and 1997. Ike links to the latter, which seems to fit your time frame.
posted by LionIndex at 4:53 PM on April 29, 2008

In case it is, here's the issue in thumbnails so you can look for the painting.
posted by iconomy at 4:54 PM on April 29, 2008

If no one else come up with it, I could get my subscription info which would allow me to find the actual page in the magazine you're looking for. But I don't have that on me right now, and I wouldn't be able to get back to it until tomorrow. Harper's apparently has their archive online, but you can't look at it without having a subscription.
posted by LionIndex at 4:57 PM on April 29, 2008

Hovering over the pages in the thumbnail version gives you the names and artists of the illustrations on that page. It basically looks like you're down to page 21 or 26. Portia Munson is here, but if you navigate through "installations" and get to The Garden, it doesn't seem like what you're looking for.
posted by LionIndex at 5:10 PM on April 29, 2008

Could it be the red and blue painting in the ad in the beginning of this issue? May 1995. Do you have that one, LionIndex?
posted by iconomy at 5:18 PM on April 29, 2008

Do you have that one, LionIndex?

No, I'll have to check back in tomorrow with my subscription info, and then I can look closer at all the pages. But since that one's an ad, I don't know if they'll have any info on the artist.

But, mistandrain can at least browse through the issues and figure out if he or she has the correct issue in mind. If you can find the actual issue and painting in question, I can probably find out who did it; once I register on the website.
posted by LionIndex at 5:32 PM on April 29, 2008

I've got a subscription, so I did a search for landscape images in Harper's and found David Hockney's North Yorkshire on page 30 of the April 1998 issue. It doesn't quite fit the description but it's the closest thing I could find.

I don't think it's the red & blue ad from 1995, although I could probably grab a screenshot of the larger image if you wanted to take a look.
posted by stefanie at 5:46 PM on April 29, 2008

The red and blue ad that iconomy mentioned is a Saab ad. There's a bigger (though slightly different) version here.
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:58 PM on April 29, 2008

Thanks, nmc! Now that I can actually see it, it's obviously not what she's after. The thumbnails at Harper's are so small that I can barely see anything.
posted by iconomy at 6:01 PM on April 29, 2008

Response by poster: This is great! The painting in question does not seem to be in the issue I thought it would be in- but now I can search through all of the thumbnails. I'll post it when I find it.

And, stefanie, the David Hockney is not it- but, it's gorgeous and I'm glad you shared it!

Thanks everyone!
posted by mistsandrain at 6:33 AM on April 30, 2008

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