Jack Jordan (1925 - present)
Cattle Branding, c. 1950
Oil on masonite
20 x 12 inches
Signed at lower left: Jack Jordan
Jack Jordan is an African-American painter, sculptor and graphic artist based in Louisiana, working in an abstracted figural mode. Jordan received a B.A. degree in 1948 from Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma; an M.A. in 1949 from Iowa State University, and an M.F.A. degree in 1953 from the University of Iowa. He was Professor of Art at Southern University in New Orleans, and served on the State of Louisiana Commission of Creative and Performing Arts.
Cattle Branding is a prime work from the 1950s. Jordan abstracted the cattle as bellowing heads and horns, the forms densely overlaid and compacted to convey the crush of branding day. A brick-red bullís head adds a totemic quality to the image. While the bulls bellow and bare their teeth, a single closed-mouthed man anchors the composition.