Ralph Fasanella

Sam’s Dream

Oil on Canvas, 1948

In the post-World War II era, as thousands of urban New Yorkers were flocking to homes in the suburbs, Fasanella decried the breakup of vibrant working-class communities. He felt strongly that the dream of a better life in the suburbs was an illusion, and that suburban existence would be desolate and isolating. In Sam’s Dream he expresses his reaction to his brother Sam’s desire to move out of the city by juxtaposing a lively series of tenement apartments in the middle of the painting to an empty landscape with a house and store at the top.