We find here a rolling hill to the left hand side, with a series of fields patchworked over its surface. An abudance of trees are shown mainly on the right hand side with rounded bushes which creates something of a cartoon-like appearance. The artist would also play with angles and perspective in an innovative manner, with increases the depth of the scene, such as with the field nearest us which falls away dramatically down the hill. A narrow path to the right in the foreground sweeps around to pass alongside a small residential home, where presumably the rural workers would live. Several figures can be seen in the field at the bottom of the hill, as they carry out their daily tasks. Bright sunshine lifts the mood of Young Corn, saturating most of the scene in bright light, other than for the odd shadow around the foot of some of the trees. Some of these hills look too steep to grow corn on, but clearly Grant Wood is playing with perspective in order to produce a more interesting artwork.
The artist would produce many landscape paintings in the same manner as Young Corn from 1931 and loved to include those from rural communities within the US. Despite travelling abroad in order to learn techniques from the old masters, Wood was a proud American citizen whose content would always be taken from his local environment. He became known as a Regionalist artist because of the content that he covered and some would view this term as beneficial, others not. Some would see it as a patriotic approach, whilst others may have rejected it and chosen more contemporary approaches instead. Even since his career finished, this rise and fall in popularity has continued to cycle again and again. That said, Young Corn is certainly amongst his finest creations and sits proudly alongside the likes of American Gothic. Our paintings section combines all of the highlights from his career and many Americans continue to celebrate his achievements today.
Young Corn is currently held at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. It is on loan from Cedar Rapids Community School District. They list the piece as being 23 ¾ x 29 ¾ in in size and oil on masonite, which was the artist's common method of production throughout the early 1930s. The artist himself was born on a farm in Iowa and so it is unsurprising that such topics would appear within his work, even after he had travelled elsewhere. Indeed, for all his technical developments which came about directly from experiences other parts of the country and abroad, the artist would never lost touch with his roots and this became a part of his charm, as American art followers grew particularly fond of his work over time. There was perhaps a lack of US content at the time within the art world, and Grant Wood helped to solve that problem with his approach that drew sufficient support to enable him to be financial successful at various points of his lifetime.