American Rhapsody, 2023
Acrylic and oil paint pens on canvas
24 x 36 inches
American Rhapsody (2023), Burkhardt uses his iconic LetterScape series
to graphically and geometrically spell the word "AMERICA." With cleverness and subtlety, the canvas symbolically sings "America, America, God sheds his grace on thee!" There are also visual allusions to lyrics from the song "America the Beautiful," such as "beautiful for spacious skies," "purple mountains majesty," "sea to shining sea," "fruited plains," and "heroes proved in liberating strife." Fireworks adorn the sky over the final triangular "A" and an early wagon wheel morphs into today's festive ferris wheel! This engaging abstract alphabet of compelling color fields heralds the beauty and wonder of our extraordinary country.