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Government Bureau

George Tooker

Government Bureau

George Tooker
  • Date: 1956; United States  
  • Style: Magic Realism
  • Genre: genre painting
  • Media: tempera
  • Dimensions: 49.8 x 75.2 cm

While Tooker’s paintings typically convey the artist’s passionate desire for social harmony and justice, Government Bureau represents a darker, more pessimistic dimension of his art. The work takes the viewer inside a cold, starkly lit interior filled with anonymous bodies and cubicles. Eerily, the circular windows in the cubicle walls reveal nothing but the tired, sad eyes of government employees staring blankly. The scene’s unsettling remoteness is accentuated by Tooker’s fine and detailed technique, rooted in Italian Renaissance egg-tempera painting. The Met

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