Skip to main content

Max Weber

Chinese Restaurant
1915

Not on view

Date
1915

Classification
Paintings

Medium
Oil, charcoal, and collaged paper on linen

Dimensions
Overall: 40 × 48 1/8in. (101.6 × 122.2 cm)

Accession number
31.382

Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase

Rights and reproductions
© artist or artist’s estate

This work depicts a Chinese restaurant, one of the many that were opening in New York City in the early twentieth century as a growing number of Asian immigrants settled in America. Max Weber, himself an immigrant, sought to capture the hustle-and-bustle and ornate décor typical of New York’s Chinese restaurants. He achieved these effects by assimilating the lessons of French Cubism, evident in the kaleidoscopic composition of fragmented forms, fractured planes, and patterned sections that recall the wallpaper often incorporated in Cubist collage. Although Weber’s painting is largely abstract, the artist provides clues to its subject in the pattern of the checkered restaurant floor, the scrolled leg of a table, the Chinese red, black, and gold color scheme, and the suggestion of tabletops. For contemporary audiences, Chinese Restaurant exemplified how thoroughly Weber was able to translate European modernism into a potent vehicle for expressing the dynamism of the new American urban landscape.





Sunrise

Sunset

A 30-second online art project:
LaTurbo Avedon, Morning Mirror / Evening Mirror

Learn more

All visitors aged 12 and older must show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for admission to the Whitney, in accordance with NYC requirements. Visitors aged 18 and older will also be asked to show photo ID. Face coverings are required for all visitors. Learn more about the Whitney’s safety guidelines.