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The Confused Process of Becoming (Portrait of Roman Johnson)
Emerson Burkhart (American, 1905 - 69)
1946. Oil on canvas, 48 x 39".
The Confused Process of Becoming (Portrait of Roman Johnson) is a master portrait from the height of the career of Ohio artist Emerson Burkhart in the 1940s. A dedicated painter of the American Scene, Burkhart captured his friend and fellow artist in a contemplative and personal moment. Burkhart believed that all the world could be painted in Columbus, and he once declared, “I don’t need to go anywhere, it’s all here.” On the back of the canvas, Burkhart painted fifty-four slashes, each one denoting a session when he worked on the painting.