Ogden-Lake, 1954<img alt="" src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/Lanyon-Ogden-Lake.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Ogden-Lake, 1954<div class="ExternalClass547D2783B80048C79902B3DE27B6477B"><p>With its naïve perspective compressing space and distorting objects, Ellen Lanyon's <em>Ogden-Lake </em>brings a child's sense of wonder to the prosaic infrastructure of urban mass transit. The Ashland Avenue station of Chicago's Lake Street "L" (elevated) train line appears as if seen from an upper story of a building just east at Ogden Avenue. The track bed is a floating highway surmounting the West Side's aging industrial architecture. Bridging the tracks, the station sports a mismatched pair of structures that playfully echo the L's elaborate Victorian station houses of the 1890s. Several riders wait on the bridge over the tracks, while at the left a man begins the ascent from street level. Tracks, railings, girders, and electrical wires form a lacy network superimposed on the mosaic of angular planes that make up the ground.</p><p>While studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, Lanyon was introduced to the museum's collection of late medieval and early Renaissance paintings, with their painstaking technique of egg tempera painting. She drew on that inspiration, as well as her everyday experience, for her Chicago cityscapes of the late 1940s and 1950s, which emphasize the grittiness of the city's decaying architectural fabric. As a student, Lanyon later recalled, she saw the world from the perspective of her daily rides on the L: "And I did many cityscapes that were definitely influenced by the fourteenth and fifteenth century artists' architectural distortion and the way they looked at things."</p><p>A painter and printmaker, Lanyon was a Chicago native who was instrumental in the founding of several important artists' organizations before she moved to New York in 1983. Like many Chicago painters who emerged in an era dominated by abstract expressionism, Lanyon rejected artistic formalism in favor of evocative figural imagery derived from fantasy and surrealism.</p></div>GP0|#31ae8b5e-e439-4839-9ce0-345e23fe06a0;L0|#031ae8b5e-e439-4839-9ce0-345e23fe06a0|Ellen Lanyon;GTSet|#6a9f5109-021d-478a-ae73-864102492159;GPP|#9d68cbd3-25f3-49f0-8924-6cbe6cdb2f21;GPP|#be65f490-4890-487c-bb16-c396d99511f7Art;#TemporaryEgg tempera and gold leaf on Masonite;#New York, New YorkEgg tempera and gold leaf on Masonite, 25 ¼ × 31¼ inches Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum, Museum Purchase