Posts Tagged ‘American painter

27
Aug
19

Exhibition: ‘Lee Krasner: Living Colour’ at the Barbican Art Gallery, London

Exhibition dates: 30th May – 1st September 2019

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view at the Barbican Art Gallery
30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

 

The augur of passion, the fire of movement, the colour of the embrace!

She used to ask herself, “does it work?”, as every artist should… not seeking affirmation from others but just being focused in her own mind on what she wanted to say, on that inner experience.

She was the equal of men, surpassing most. Krasner is finally getting the accolades she so richly deserves.

Marcus

 

Many thankx to the Barbican Art Gallery for allowing me to publish the art work in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image. The black and white photographs have been digitally cleaned by myself.

 

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view at the Barbican Art Gallery
30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

Lee Krasner (1908-1984) 'Untitled' 1946

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Untitled
1946
Collection of Bobbi and Walter Zifkin
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Photo: Jonathan Urban

 

Lee Krasner (1908-1984) 'Abstract No. 2' 1947

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Abstract No. 2
1947
IVAM Centre, Spain
Courtesy IVAM
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation

 

Lee Krasner (1908-1984) 'Mosaic Table' 1947

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Mosaic Table
1947
Private Collection
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Courtesy Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York

 

 

The cold winter on Long Island, where Krasner and Pollock were now living, forced her to work downstairs by the stove, where she made two brilliantly coloured mosaic tables using wagon wheels she found in the barn.

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view with Composition 1949 and Stop and Go c. 1949
Barbican Art Gallery 30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Installation view with Stop and Go c. 1949
Barbican Art Gallery 30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984) 'Blue Level' 1955

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Blue Level
1955
Private Collection
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Photo: Diego Flores

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984) 'Desert Moon' 1955

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Desert Moon
1955
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
© 2018 Digital Image Museum Associates/ LACMA/Art Resource NY/ Scala, Florence

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984) 'Bald Eagle' 1955

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Bald Eagle
1955
Collection of Audrey Irmas, Los Angeles
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Photo: Jonathan Urban

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view with Bird Talk 1955 and Bald Eagle 1955
Barbican Art Gallery 30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view with Bird Talk 1955
Barbican Art Gallery 30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984) 'Prophecy' 1956

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Prophecy
1956
Private Collection
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Courtesy Kasmin Gallery, New York
Photo: Christopher Stach

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984) 'Embrace' 1956

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Embrace
1956
Photograph © The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Photo: Christopher Stach

 

 

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view with Embrace 1956
Barbican Art Gallery 30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

 

“I like a canvas to breathe and be alive. Be alive is the point.”

“Painting is a revelation, an act of love… as a painter I can’t experience it any other way.”

“I was a woman, Jewish, a widow, a damn good painter, thank you, and a little too independent…”

“Aesthetically I am very much Lee Krasner. I am undergoing emotional, psychological, and artistic changes but I hold Lee Krasner right through.”

“Painting is not separate from life. It is one. It is like asking – do I want to live? My answer is yes – and I paint.”

“I couldn’t run out and do a one-woman job on the sexist aspects of the art world, continue my painting, and stay in the role I was in as Mrs Pollock… What I considered important was that I was able to work and other things would have to take their turn.”

“Jackson always treated me as an artist… he always acknowledged, was aware of what I was doing… I was a painter before I knew him, and he knew that, and when we were together, I couldn’t have stayed with him one day if he didn’t treat me as a painter.”

“[The Surrealists] treated their women like French poodles, and it sort of rubbed off on the Abstract Expressionists. The exceptions were Bradley Walker Tomlin, Franz Kline, and Jackson Pollock. That might be the end of my listing. The other big boys just didn’t treat me at all. I wasn’t there for them as an artist.”

“I go on the assumption that the artist is a highly sensitive, intellectual and aware human being… It’s a total experience which has to do with the sensitivity of being a painter. The painter’s form of expressing [them]self is through painting.”

.
Lee Krasner

 

“… their blossoming was remarkable. In fact “blossoming” is hardly the word, for it suggests a soft, floral, ethereal event, adjectives one would not pick for the tough paintings, often full of barely controlled anger, that she was to produce after 1960… Is there a less “feminine” woman artist of her generation? Probably not.”

.
Robert Hughes

 

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view with The Eye is the First Circle 1960
Barbican Art Gallery 30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984) 'Polar Stampede' 1960

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Polar Stampede
1960
The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Courtesy Kasmin Gallery, New York

 

 

Polar Stampede 1960, one of a series of paintings she made at night during bouts of insomnia and which her friend, the poet Richard Howard, called her ‘Night Journeys’

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984) 'The Guardian' 1960

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
The Guardian
1960
Oil and house paint on canvas
53 1/8 × 58 1/8 in. (134.9 × 147.6 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art
Purchase, with funds from the Uris Brothers Foundation, Inc.

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view with Assault on the Solar Plexus 1961
Barbican Art Gallery 30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984) 'Through Blue' 1963

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Through Blue
1963
Private Collection, New York City
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Photo: Christopher Stach

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view with Through Blue 1963
Barbican Art Gallery 30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view with Another Storm 1963
Barbican Art Gallery 30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984) 'Another Storm' 1963

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Another Storm
1963
Private Collection
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Courtesy Kasmin Gallery, New York

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984) 'Icarus' 1964

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Icarus
1964
Thomson Family Collection, New York
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Courtesy Kasmin Gallery, New York
Photo: Diego Flores

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view with Chrysalis 1964 and Icarus 1964
Barbican Art Gallery 30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view with Combat 1965
Barbican Art Gallery 30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984) 'Siren' 1966

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Siren
1966
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Photo: Cathy Carver, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984) 'Untitled' 1969

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Untitled
1969
The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York City
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Courtesy Kasmin Gallery, New York

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view with Portrait in Green 1969
Barbican Art Gallery 30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

Lee Krasner, who died in 1984, at work in her studio in the 60s, painting 'Portrait in Green'

 

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view with Palingenesis 1971
Barbican Art Gallery 30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984) 'Palingenesis' 1971

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Palingenesis
1971
Collection Pollock-Krasner Foundation
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Courtesy Kasmin Gallery, New York

 

 

Palingenesis noun Biology: the exact reproduction of ancestral characteristics in ontogenesis (the development of an individual organism or anatomical or behavioural feature from the earliest stage to maturity).

When Krasner showed 12 new paintings at the Marlborough Gallery in New York the critic Robert Hughes described this pink as rapping ‘hotly on the eyeball at 50 paces’.

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Installation view with Olympic 1974
Barbican Art Gallery 30 May – 1 September 2019
© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984) 'Imperative' 1976

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Imperative
1976
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C

 

 

Barbican Art Gallery is pleased to stage the first retrospective in Europe for over 50 years of American artist Lee Krasner (1908-1984). One of the pioneers of Abstract Expressionism, Krasner made work reflecting the feeling of possibility and experiment in New York in the post-war period. Lee Krasner: Living Colour features nearly 100 works – many on show in the UK for the first time – from across her 50-year career, and tells the story of a formidable artist whose importance has often been eclipsed by her marriage to Jackson Pollock.

The exhibition celebrates Krasner’s spirit for invention – including striking early self-portraits; a body of energetic charcoal life drawings; original photographs of her proposed department store window displays, designed during the war effort; and her acclaimed ‘Little Image’ paintings from the 1940s with their tightly controlled geometries. It also features collages comprised of torn-up earlier work and a selection of her most impressive large-scale abstract paintings. This work is accompanied by rare photography and film from the period, in an elegant exhibition design by David Chipperfield Architects.

Jane Alison, Head of Visual Arts, Barbican, said: ‘We are thrilled to be staging Lee Krasner: Living Colour. Despite featuring in museum collections around the world and being one of the few women to have had a solo show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, in 1984, Krasner has not received the recognition that she deserves in Europe, making this an exciting opportunity for visitors here to experience the sheer impact of her work’.

Krasner was determined to find new ways to capture inner experience. As the playwright Edward Albee commented at her memorial at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in both her life and her work, ‘…she looked you straight in the eye, and you dared not flinch’. Born in Brooklyn in 1908 in a family recently emigrated from Russia, she chose to attend Washington Irving High School (which at the time was the only school in New York to offer an art course for girls) before going on to study at the National Academy of Design. She was inspired by the opening of MoMA in 1929; joined the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, where she made lifelong friends including renowned designer Ray Eames; was a member of the American Abstract Artists; and became a friend to many leading artists of the day including Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline.

In 1945, Krasner married Jackson Pollock and they moved to Springs, Long Island, borrowing $2000 from collector and dealer Peggy Guggenheim to buy a run-down clapboard farmhouse. Krasner worked in the living room and then an upstairs bedroom – intimate make-shift studio spaces, which are mirrored in the Barbican Art Gallery’s upstairs rooms – while Pollock worked in a converted barn outside. After Pollock’s early death in a car crash in 1956, Krasner made the courageous decision to claim his studio as her own, which allowed her to work for the first time on large, un-stretched canvas tacked to the wall. The result would be the remarkable ‘Umber’ and ‘Primary’ series paintings, in which her exploration of scale, biomorphic form and colour collided into some of her most celebrated work. Examples on show include The Guardian, 1960; Happy Lady, 1963; Icarus, 1964; and Siren, 1966.

Lee Krasner: Living Colour draws from more than 50 international collections: from museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Washington, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, as well as from a large number of private collections. Many works are being exhibited in Europe for the first time, such as the monumental Combat (1965), which is over 4 metres long, and has travelled from the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia.

The exhibition is curated and organised by Barbican Centre, London, in collaboration with Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Press release from the Barbican Art Gallery [Online] Cited 14 June 2019

 

Unknown Photographer. 'Lee Krasner and her younger sister, Ruth' c. 1915-16

 

Unknown Photographer
Lee Krasner and her younger sister, Ruth
c. 1915-16

 

“I was brought up to be independent. I made no economic demands on my parents so in turn they let me be… I was not pressured by them, I was free to study art. It was the best thing that could have happened.” ~ Lee Krasner

 

Lee Krasner. 'Self-Portrait' c. 1928

 

Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984)
Self-Portrait
c. 1928
The Jewish Museum, New York
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Courtesy the Jewish Museum, New York

 

Unknown photographer. 'Lee Krasner' c. 1938

 

Unknown photographer
Lee Krasner
c. 1938
Gelatin silver print

 

Maurice Berezov (American, 1902-1989) 'Lee Krasner in her New York studio' 1939

 

Maurice Berezov (American, 1902-1989)
Lee Krasner in her New York studio
1939
Gelatin silver print
© Copyright A.E. Artworks, LLC

 

Fred Prater. 'Lee Krasner at the WPA Pier, New York City, where she was working on a WPA commission' c. 1940

 

Fred Prater
Lee Krasner at the WPA Pier, New York City, where she was working on a WPA commission
c. 1940
Gelatin silver print
Lee Krasner Papers, c. 1905-1984
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

 

'Lee Krasner photo booth images' Nd

 

Lee Krasner photo booth images
1940s-50s?

 

With Jackson Pollock in Springs, London Island, 1949

 

With Jackson Pollock in Springs, London Island, 1949
Photo: Wilfred Zogbaum

 

 

“She would ask me to the studio. One didn’t just go there. One waited for an invitation. But she didn’t talk about her painting. The most distinct thing for her was the question: does it work? That was the big way that she thought. She wasn’t insecure about it. She wasn’t asking my opinion. She was asking herself.

“She had a very strong conviction about herself as a painter. She saw her own worth. She saw herself as equal to the men. She didn’t have the attention Pollock had, but she’d grown inured to that. Lee knew all about brands: she was Mrs Pollock, and sometimes she took advantage of it. But she also had great feeling for him as a painter. He wasn’t an easy person, but she never disparaged him, and he never disparaged her, either. The most powerful attraction between them was their intellectual acknowledgement of each other.”

Krasner’s nephew Jason McCoy quoted in Rachel Cooke. “Reframing Lee Krasner, the artist formerly known as Mrs Pollock,” on The Guardian website Sunday 12 May 2019 [Online] Cited 22 June 2019

 

Halley Erskine. 'Lee Krasner standing on a ladder in front of 'The Gate' (1959) before it was completed, Springs, July or August 1959' 1959

 

Halley Erskine
Lee Krasner standing on a ladder in front of ‘The Gate’ (1959) before it was completed, Springs, July or August 1959
1959
Gelatin silver print

 

Hans Namuth (German, 1915-1990) 'Lee Krasner in her studio in the barn, Springs' 1962

 

Hans Namuth (German, 1915-1990)
Lee Krasner in her studio in the barn, Springs
1962
Gelatin silver print
Lee Krasner Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

 

Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009) 'Lee Krasner, Springs, NY' 1972

 

Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009)
Lee Krasner, Springs, NY
1972
Gelatin silver print
© The Irving Penn Foundation

 

 

Barbican Art Gallery
Barbican Centre
Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Opening hours:
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Sun: 11am – 11pm
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07
Jul
17

Exhibition: ‘Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern’ at the Brooklyn Museum, New York

Exhibition dates: 3rd March – 23rd July 2017

 

Hilda Belcher (American 1881-1963) 'The Checkered Dress (Young Georgia O'Keeffe)' 1907

 

Hilda Belcher (American 1881-1963)
The Checkered Dress (Young Georgia O’Keeffe)
1907
Oil on canvas

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe at 291' 1917

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe at 291
1917
Platinum print
9⅝ x 7⅝ in. (24.3 x 19.4 cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Blue #2' 1916

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Blue #2
1916
Watercolour on paper
15⅞ x 11 in. (40.3 x 27.8 cm)
Brooklyn Museum; Bequest of Mary T. Cockcroft, by exchange
Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum

 

 

“Even in photographs in which O’Keeffe gazes directly at the camera, she telegraphs an elegant aloofness – not a coldness, exactly, but a demand to be seen from a distance, like the vast Southwestern landscapes that she made her own. Looking into her face repeated on gallery walls, I was reminded of the way a horizon invites one’s eye to the farthest possible point. Our gaze shifts; the horizon stays the same.” ~ Haley Mlotek on The NewYorker website

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe' 1918

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe
1918, printed 1920s
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Alfred Stieglitz Collection
© Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe' c. 1920-22

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe
c. 1920-22
Gelatin silver print
4½ x 3½ in. (11.4 x 9 cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

 

 

I love this woman. Such style, class and talent.

Fabulous art, clothes and photographs. An icon in every sense of the word.

Marcus

.
Many thankx to the Brooklyn Museum for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern takes a new look at how the renowned modernist artist proclaimed her progressive, independent lifestyle through a self-crafted public persona – including her clothing and the way she posed for the camera. The exhibition expands our understanding of O’Keeffe by focusing on her wardrobe, shown for the first time alongside key paintings and photographs. It confirms and explores her determination to be in charge of how the world understood her identity and artistic values.

In addition to selected paintings and items of clothing, the exhibition presents photographs of O’Keeffe and her homes by Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz, Philippe Halsman, Yousuf Karsh, Cecil Beaton, Andy Warhol, Bruce Weber, and others. It also includes works that entered the Brooklyn collection following O’Keeffe’s first-ever museum exhibition – held at the Brooklyn Museum in 1927.

The exhibition is organised in sections that run from her early years, when O’Keeffe crafted a signature style of dress that dispensed with ornamentation; to her years in New York, in the 1920s and 1930s, when a black-and-white palette dominated much of her art and dress; and to her later years in New Mexico, where her art and clothing changed in response to the surrounding colours of the Southwestern landscape. The final section explores the enormous role photography played in the artist’s reinvention of herself in the Southwest, when a younger generation of photographers visited her, solidifying her status as a pioneer of modernism and as a contemporary style icon.

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern is organised by guest curator Wanda M. Corn, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor Emerita in Art History, Stanford University, and coordinated by Lisa Small, Curator of European Painting and Sculpture, Brooklyn Museum.

 

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Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation view with Alfred Stieglitz’s Georgia O’Keeffe at 291 (1917) at left, and Gaston Lachaise’s sculpture Georgia O’Keeffe (1925-27) at centre

 

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation view with her painting Clam and Mussel (1926) second left

 

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation view with her painting Manhattan (1932) left, and Brooklyn Bridge (1949) right

 

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation view with her painting Rams Head, White Hollyhock – Hills (Rams Head and White Hollyhock, New Mexico) (1935) at right

 

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation view with her painting In the Patio IX (1950) at right, and an Emilio Pucci dress second right

 

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation view with her painting The Mountain, New Mexico (1931) at left

 

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation view with Georgia O’Keeffe by Irving Penn (1948) second left, and Georgia O’Keeffe by Laura Gilpin (1953) at right

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation views
© Jonathan Dorado

 

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe' 1922

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe
1922
Gelatin silver print
24.1 x 19.4 cm
Art Institute of Chicago, Alfred Stieglitz Collection

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Pool in the Woods, Lake George' 1922

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Pool in the Woods, Lake George
1922
Pastel on paper
17 x 27½ in. (43.3 x 69.9 cm)
Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Gift of Barbara B. Millhouse in memory of E. Carter, Nancy Susan Reynolds, and Winifred Babcock
Courtesy of Reynolda House Museum of American Art, affiliated with Wake Forest University
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Black Pansy & Forget-Me-Nots (Pansy)' 1926

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Black Pansy & Forget-Me-Nots (Pansy)
1926
Oil on canvas
27⅛ x 12¼ in. (68.9 x 31.1 cm)
Brooklyn Museum; Gift of Mrs. Alfred S. Rossin
Photo: Christine Gant, Brooklyn Museum

 

Gaston Lachaise (American (born France) 1882-1935) 'Georgia O’Keeffe' 1925-27

 

Gaston Lachaise (American (born France) 1882-1935)
Georgia O’Keeffe
1925-27
Alabaster
H. 22-3/4 x W. 7-3/4 x D. 12-1/4 in. (57.8 x 19.7 x 31.1 cm); including 5-3/4 in. high base. Weight 70 lb (31.8 kg)
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe, Prospect Mountain, Lake George' 1927

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe, Prospect Mountain, Lake George
1927
Gelatin silver print
4⅝ x 3⅝ in. (11.8 x 9.3 cm)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Alfred Stieglitz Collection
© Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington

 

Attributed to Georgia O'Keeffe. 'Dress (Tunic and Underdress)' c. 1926

 

Attributed to Georgia O’Keeffe
Dress (Tunic and Underdress)
c. 1926
Ivory silk crepe
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton
Photo: © Gavin Ashworth

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Line and Curve' 1927

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Line and Curve
1927
Oil on canvas
32 x 16¼ in. (81.2 x 41.2 cm)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Bequest of Georgia O’Keeffe
© Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Clam and Mussel' 1926

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Clam and Mussel
1926
Oil on canvas
48 1/8 × 29 7/9 in
122.2 × 75.6 cm
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe / Art Resource, NY
© ARS, NY The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe

 

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern offers a new look at the iconic American artist’s powerful ownership of her identity as an artist and a woman. This major exhibition examines the modernist persona that Georgia O’Keeffe crafted for herself through her art, her dress, and her progressive, independent lifestyle. It will mark the first time O’’eeffe’s understated yet remarkable wardrobe will be presented in dialogue with key paintings, photographs, jewellery, accessories, and ephemera. Opening on March 3, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern represents a homecoming of sorts, as the artist had her first solo museum exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, in 1927.

On view through July 23, 2017, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern is part of A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum, a yearlong project celebrating a decade of feminist thinking at the Brooklyn Museum.

In addition to a number of O’Keeffe’s key paintings and never-before-exhibited selections from her wardrobe, the exhibition will also feature portraits of her by such luminary photographers as Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Philippe Halsman, Yousuf Karsh, Todd Webb, Cecil Beaton, Bruce Weber, Annie Leibovitz, and others. These images, along with the garments and artworks on view, testify to the ways that O’Keeffe learned to use photographic sittings as a way to construct her persona, framing her status as a pioneer of modernism and as a style icon.

“Fifteen years ago I learned that when Georgia O’Keeffe died and left her two homes to her estate, her closets were filled with her belongings. The O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe now owns the homes and their contents, but no one had yet studied the sixty years of dresses, coats, suits, casual wear, and accessories she left behind. I took on that task. The Georgia O’Keeffe who emerged from my research and is presented in this exhibition was an artist not only in her studio but also in her homemaking and self-fashioning,” says guest curator, Wanda M. Corn, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor Emerita in Art History, Stanford University.

“This exhibition reveals O’Keeffe’s commitment to core principles associated with modernism – minimalism, seriality, simplification – not only in her art, but also in her distinctive style of dress,” says Lisa Small, Curator of European Painting and Sculpture, Brooklyn Museum, who serves as the exhibition’s in-house coordinator.

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern opens with an introduction that demonstrates how O’Keeffe began to craft her signature clothing style as a high school student, dispensing with the bows and frills worn by young women at the time. The exhibition continues in four parts. The first is devoted to New York in the 1920s and ’30s, when she lived with Alfred Stieglitz and made many of her own clothes. It also examines Stieglitz’s multiyear, serial portrait project, which ultimately helped her to become one of the most photographed American artists in history and contributed to her understanding of photography’s power to shape her public image.

Her years in New Mexico comprise the second section, in which the desert landscape – surrounded by colour in the yellows, pinks, and reds of rocks and cliffs, and the blue sky – influenced her painting and dress palette. A small third section explores the influence and importance of Asian aesthetics in her personal style. The final section displays images made after Steiglitz’s era by photographers who came to visit her in the Southwest.

Press release from the Brooklyn Museum

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe' 1929

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe
1929
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Alfred Stieglitz Collection
© Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Manhattan' 1932

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Manhattan
1932
Oil on canvas
84⅜ x 48¼ in. (214.3 x 122.6 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
Photo: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C./Art Resource, NY

 

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984) 'Georgia O'Keeffe and Orville Cox' 1937

 

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)
Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox
1937
Gelatin silver print
7¾ x 11 in. (19.7 x 27.9 cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
© 2016 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

 

Attributed to Georgia O'Keeffe. 'Blouse' c. early to mid-1930s

 

Attributed to Georgia O’Keeffe
Blouse
c. early to mid-1930s
White linen
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton
Photo: © Gavin Ashworth

 

Attributed to Georgia O'Keeffe. 'Dress with Matching Belt' c. 1930s

 

Attributed to Georgia O’Keeffe
Dress with Matching Belt
c. 1930s
Black wool, crepe and white silk
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton
Photo: © Gavin Ashworth

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'The Mountain, New Mexico' 1931

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
The Mountain, New Mexico
1931
Oil on canvas
30 1/16 × 36 1/8 in. (76.4 × 91.8 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Rams Head, White Hollyhock - Hills' (Rams Head and White Hollyhock, New Mexico) 1935

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Rams Head, White Hollyhock – Hills (Rams Head and White Hollyhock, New Mexico)
1935
Oil on canvas
30 x 36 in. (76.2 x 91.4 cm)
Brooklyn Museum; Bequest of Edith and Milton Lowenthal
Photo: Brooklyn Museum

 

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984) 'Georgia O'Keeffe at Yosemite' 1938

 

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)
Georgia O’Keeffe at Yosemite
1938
Gelatin silver print
5¾ x 3⅜ in. (14.5 x 8.7 cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
© 2016 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Brooklyn Bridge' 1949

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Brooklyn Bridge
1949
Oil on Masonite
48 x 35⅞ in. (121.8 x 91.1 cm)
Brooklyn Museum; Bequest of Mary Childs Draper
Photo: Brooklyn Museum

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'In the Patio IX' 1950

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986)
In the Patio IX
1950
Oil on canvas mounted on panel
H- 30 x W- 40 in. (76.2 x 101.6 cm)
The Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection
© The Vilcek Foundation

 

Laura Gilpin (American, 1891-1979) 'Georgia O'Keeffe' 1953

 

Laura Gilpin (American, 1891-1979)
Georgia O’Keeffe
1953
Gelatin silver print
24.1 x 19.4 cm
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.
© 1979 Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Patio with Cloud' 1956

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Patio with Cloud
1956
Oil on canvas
36 x 30 in. (91.4 x 76.2 cm)
Milwaukee Art Museum; Gift of Mrs. Edward R. Wehr
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Photo: P. Richard Eells

 

Todd Webb (American, 1905-2000) 'Georgia O'Keeffe on Ghost Ranch Portal, New Mexico' c. 1960s

 

Todd Webb (American, 1905-2000)
Georgia O’Keeffe on Ghost Ranch Portal, New Mexico
c. 1960s
Gelatin silver print
10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
© Estate of Todd Webb, Portland, ME

 

'Padded Kimono (Tanzen)' c. 1960s-70s

 

Padded Kimono (Tanzen)
c. 1960s-70s
Silk with woven black and gray stripe
Inner garment: Kimono. White linen (?)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton
Photo: © Gavin Ashworth

 

Bruce Weber (American, born 1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe, Abiquiu, N.M.' 1984

 

Bruce Weber (American, born 1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe, Abiquiu, N.M.
1984
Gelatin silver print
14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm)
Bruce Weber and Nan Bush Collection, New York
© Bruce Weber

 

'Emsley. Suit (Jacket, Pants, and Vest)' 1983

 

Emsley. Suit (Jacket, Pants, and Vest)
1983
Black wool
Inner garment: Lord & Taylor. Shirt
c. 1960s. White cotton
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton
Photo: © Gavin Ashworth

 

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984) 'Georgia O'Keeffe, Carmel Highlands, California' 1981

 

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)
Georgia O’Keeffe, Carmel Highlands, California
1981
Gelatin silver print
10⅛ x 13⅛ in. (25.7 x 33.3 cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton
© 2016 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

 

'Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern' by Wanda Corn book cover 2017

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern by Wanda Corn book cover 2017
Courtesy of Delmonico Books Prestel

 

 

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11238-6052
T: (718) 638-5000

Opening hours:
Wednesday and Friday, 11 am – 6 pm
Thursday11 am – 10 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 11 am – 6 pm
first Saturday of each month, 11 am – 11 pm
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day

Brooklyn Museum website

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14
Jul
15

Thomas Eakins photography

July 2015

 

Please click on the photography for a larger version of the image.

Marcus

 

 

For Eakins, the camera was a teaching device comparable to anatomical drawing, a tool the modern artist should use to train the eye to see what was truly before it.

 

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In the 1880s, through a series of technical advances that greatly simplified its practice, photography had expanded from being the province solely of the specialist into an activity accessible to the millions. To define photography as a discipline distinct from its casual, commercial, and scientific applications became the overriding goal of many American artists in the last two decades of the century, who claimed for it a place commensurate with those artistic endeavors that celebrated the complex, irreducible subjectivity of their makers. The photographs of Thomas Eakins are a perfect example of this development.

In addition to being an accomplished painter, watercolorist, and teacher, Thomas Eakins was a dedicated and talented photographer. Working with a wooden view camera, glass plate negatives, and the platinum print process, he distinguished himself from most other painters of his generation by mastering the technical aspects of the new medium and requiring his students to do the same. For Eakins, the camera was a teaching device comparable to anatomical drawing (43.87.23; 43.87.19), a tool the modern artist should use to train the eye to see what was truly before it.

Although it is not known from whom or when Eakins learned photography, it is clear that by 1880 he had already incorporated the camera into his professional and personal life. The vast majority of photographs attributed to Eakins are figure studies (nude and clothed) and portraits of his pupils (43.87.17), extended family (including himself) (43.87.23), and immediate friends (41.142.2). More than 225 negatives survive in the Bregler collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and approximately 800 images are currently attributed to Eakins and his circle – ample proof of the intensity with which Eakins worked with the camera.

Eakins did not generally use photographs as a preparatory aid to painting, although there are a small number of oils which have direct counterparts in existing photographs: the Amon Carter Museum’s The Swimming Hole [below] and the Metropolitan’s Arcadia [below] being the foremost examples. To the contrary, Eakins saw a different role for photography – one related to his extraordinary interest in knowing the figure and improving his sensitivity to complex figure-ground relationships. Committed to teaching close observation through the practice of dissection and preparatory wax and plaster sculpture, Eakins introduced the camera to the American art studio. At first his photographs were likely quick studies of pose and gesture; later, perhaps during the process of editing and cropping the negatives, and then making enlarged platinum prints, he saw the photographs as discrete works of art on paper, at their best on equal status with his watercolors.

The artistic freedom of the classical world that Eakins strove to bring to life in his academic programs at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (and in his Arcadian paintings) also appears as an important element in many of his nude studies (43.87.19) with the camera. These photographs, far more than the paintings, celebrate the male physique; even today, more than a century after their creation, their unabashed frontal nudity still has the power to shock contemporary eyes.

Text from The Metropolitan Museum of Art website

 

Thomas Eakins 'Thomas Eakins and J. Laurie Wallace at the Shore' 1883

 

Thomas Eakins (American, 1844-1916)
Thomas Eakins and J. Laurie Wallace at the Shore
1883

 

Thomas Eakins 'Thomas Eakins and J. Laurie Wallace at the Shore' 1883

 

Thomas Eakins (American, 1844-1916)
Thomas Eakins and J. Laurie Wallace at the Shore
1883

 

 

The great American painter and photographer Thomas Eakins was devoted to the scientific study of the human form and committed to its truthful representation. While teaching at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Eakins made at least two excursions with his students in order to make a series of nudes out of doors. This photograph was probably made during the summer of 1883 at Manasquan Inlet at Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Although neither of the figures in this study play the pipes, the photograph seems related to the unfinished oil Arcadia, in the Metropolitan’s collection [below]. Posed at the edge of a lake, with hands behind their backs, or dangling, the figures seem to float, lost in thought. They are neither athletes nor swimmers contemplating a dip in the water, but two common men – professor (Eakins) and student (J. Laurie Wallace) – each an Adam. Direct and revealing, such photographs celebrate the body and increase our understanding of Eakins’ refined naturalism and his respect for the essential beauty and complexity of the human form. (Text from The Metropolitan Museum of Art website)

 

Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) 'Arcadia' c. 1883

 

Thomas Eakins (American, 1844-1916)
Arcadia
c. 1883
Oil on canvas
98.1 × 114.3 cm (38.6 × 45 in)
Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Thomas Eakins 'Thomas Eakins and J. Laurie Wallace at the Shore' 1883

 

Thomas Eakins (American, 1844-1916)
Thomas Eakins and J. Laurie Wallace at the Shore
1883

 

Thomas Eakins (1844-1916)  'Swimming / The swimming hole' 1885

 

Thomas Eakins (American, 1844-1916)
Swimming / The swimming hole
1885
Oil on canvas
27.625 × 36.625 in (70.2 × 93 cm)
Amon Carter Museum of American Art

 

Thomas Eakins 'Unidentified model, Thomas Anschutz and J. Laurie Wallace' 1883

 

Thomas Eakins (American, 1844-1916)
Unidentified model, Thomas Anschutz and J. Laurie Wallace
1883

 

Thomas Eakins 'Unidentified model, Thomas Anschutz and J. Laurie Wallace' 1883

 

Thomas Eakins (American, 1844-1916)
Unidentified model, Thomas Anschutz and J. Laurie Wallace
1883

 

Thomas Eakins. 'Wrestlers' 1899

 

Thomas Eakins (American, 1844-1916)
Wrestlers
1899
Oil on canvas
48 3/8 x 60 in. (122.87 x 152.4 cm)
Image: Museum Associates/LACMA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Image Library

 

 

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06
Oct
12

Exhibition: ‘George Bellows’ at the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Exhibition dates: 10th June – 8th October 2012

 

George Bellows. 'Stag at Sharkey's' 1909

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Stag at Sharkey’s
1909
Oil on canvas
92 x 122.6cm (36 1/4 x 48 1/4 in.)
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Hinman B. Hurlbut Collection

 

 

What a joy it is to be able to post this work!

Bellows is one of my favourite artists. The energy and vigour of his work is outstanding, whether it be crashing waves on a rocky shore, the straining musculature of the male body in the boxing paintings and drawings or the more subtle renditions of colour and atmosphere in his portraits and cityscapes. There are hints of the darkness of Goya (especially in the painting The Barricade, 1918 / Francisco Goya, The Third of May 1808, 1814), the frontality of the portraits of Bronzino (with an added air of vulnerability) and, towards the end of his life, portends of what might have been had he lived – the simplification of line, form and colour in works such as Dempsey and Firpo (1924, below), reminiscent of, but distinct from, the work of his friend Edward Hopper.

Bellows use of colour, light and form is extra ordinary. His use of chiaroscuro is infused with colour and movement, the volume of his modelling of the subjects depicted transcending their impressionistic base. The “shading” of his work is as much psychological as physical: the looming darkness of the buildings in Pennsylvania Station Excavation (1909, below), the churning foam of the desolate sea shore or the pensive look of Emma in the Purple Dress (1919, below). His understanding of the construction of the picture plane is exemplary. Note the use of diagonals and horizontals used in the construction of most of his paintings and drawings, especially the upraised hands, extended feet in his boxing portraits.

One can only wonder what this incredible artist would have achieved had he lived into the 1960s like his friend Edward Hopper. For me he remains an absolute hero of mine. From the first time I ever saw his work (and I have only ever seen it in reproduction, imagine seeing it in the flesh!) I fell in love with his sensibility, his love of the world and the people in it. I cannot explain it more fundamentally than that. A love affair where his work touched my heart and that, really, is the greatest compliment that you can give an artist. That their art moves you.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

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Many thankx to the National Gallery of Art, Washington for allowing me to publish the reproductions of the paintings in this posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

George Bellows. 'Both Members of This Club' 1909

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Both Members of This Club
1909
Oil on canvas
133 x 177.8cm (52 3/8 x 70 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Chester Dale Collection

 

George Bellows. 'The White Hope' 1921

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
The White Hope
1921
Lithograph
37.4 x 47.6cm (14 3/4 x 18 3/4 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Andrew W. Mellon Fund

 

George Bellows. 'Counted Out, No.1' 1921

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Counted Out, No.1
1921
Lithograph
31.8 x 28.5cm (12 1/2 x 11 1/4 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Andrew W. Mellon Fund

 

George Bellows. 'Dempsey through the Ropes' 1923

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Dempsey through the Ropes
1923
Black crayon
54.61 x 49.85cm (21 1/2 x 19 5/8 in.)
Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1925

 

George Bellows. 'Dempsey and Firpo' 1924

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Dempsey and Firpo
1924
Oil on canvas
129.5 x 160.7cm (51 x 63 1/4 in.)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Purchase, with funds from Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney
© Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins

 

 

When George Bellows died at the age of forty-two in 1925, he was hailed as one of the greatest artists America had yet produced. In 2012, the National Gallery of Art will present the first comprehensive exhibition of Bellows’ career in more than three decades. Including some 130 paintings, drawings, and lithographs, George Bellows will be on view in Washington from June 10 through October 8, 2012, then travel to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, November 15, 2012, through February 18, 2013, and close at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, March 16 through June 9, 2013. The accompanying catalogue will document and define Bellows’ unique place in the history of American art and in the annals of modernism.

“George Bellows is arguably the most important figure in the generation of artists who negotiated the transition from the Victorian to the modern era in American culture,” said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. “This exhibition will provide the most complete account of his achievements to date and will introduce Bellows to new generations.”

 

Works in the exhibition

Mentored by Robert Henri, leader of the Ashcan School in New York in the early part of the 20th century, George Bellows (1882-1925) painted the world around him. He was also an accomplished graphic artist whose illustrations and lithographs addressed a wide array of social, religious, and political subjects. The full range of his remarkable artistic achievement is presented thematically and chronologically throughout nine rooms in the West Building.

The exhibition begins with Bellows’ renowned paintings and drawings of tenement children and New York street scenes. These iconic images of the modern city were made during an extraordinary period of creativity for the artist that began shortly after he left his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, for New York in 1904. Encouraged by Henri, his teacher at the New York School of Art, Bellows sought out contemporary subjects that would challenge prevailing standards of taste, depicting the city’s impoverished immigrant population in River Rats (1906, private collection) and Forty-Two Kids (1907, Corcoran Gallery of Art).

In addition to street scenes, Bellows painted more formal studio portraits of New York’s working poor. These startling, frank subjects – such as Paddy Flannigan (1908, Erving and Joyce Wolf) – reflect the artist’s profound understanding of the realist tradition of portraiture practiced by such masters as Diego Velázquez, Frans Hals, Edouard Manet, and James McNeill Whistler.

Bellows’ early boxing paintings chronicle brutal fights; to circumvent a state ban on public boxing, they were organised by private clubs in New York at that time. In his three acclaimed boxing masterpieces – Club Night (1907, National Gallery of Art), Stag at Sharkey’s (1909, Cleveland Museum of Art), and Both Members of This Club (1909, National Gallery of Art) – Bellows’ energetic, slashing brushwork matched the intensity and action of the fighters. These works will be on view together for the first time since 1982.

The series of four paintings Bellows devoted to the Manhattan excavation site for the Pennsylvania Railroad Station – a massive construction project that entailed razing two city blocks – focuses mainly on the subterranean pit in which workmen toiled. Never before exhibited together, these works range from a scene of the early construction site covered in snow in Pennsylvania Station Excavation (1909, Brooklyn Museum) to a view of the monumental station designed by McKim, Mead, and White coming to life in Blue Morning (1909, National Gallery of Art).

Bellows was fascinated with the full spectrum of life of the working and leisure classes in New York. From dock workers to Easter fashions paraded in the park, he chronicled a variety of subjects and used an array of palettes and painting techniques, from the cool grays and thin strokes of Docks in Winter (1911, private collection) to the jewel-like, encrusted surfaces of Snow-Capped River (1911, Telfair Museum of Art). While Bellows portrayed the bustling downtown commercial district of Manhattan in his encyclopaedic overview New York (1911, National Gallery of Art), he more often depicted the edges of the city near the shorelines of the Hudson and East Rivers in works such as The Lone Tenement (1909, National Gallery of Art) and Blue Snow, The Battery (1910, Columbus Museum of Art).

The artist visited Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine for the first time in 1911 and returned to Maine every summer from 1913 to 1916. In 1913 alone he created more than 100 outdoor studies. His seascapes account for half his entire output as a painter, with the majority done after the 1913 Armory Show. Shore House (1911, private collection) and The Big Dory (1913, New Britain Museum of American Art) are among Bellows’ most important seascapes and pay homage to his great American predecessor, Winslow Homer (1836-1910).

In 1912 Bellows started working more consistently as an illustrator for popular periodicals such as Collier’s and Harper’s Weekly, and in 1913 for the socialist magazine The Masses. These illustration assignments led him to record new aspects of American life ranging from sporting events to religious revival meetings, as seen in The Football Game (1912, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden) and Preaching (Billy Sunday) (1915, Boston Public Library). Along with Bellows’ more affordable and widely available lithographs (he installed a printing press in his studio in 1916), the published illustrations broadened the audience for his work.

Bellows supported the United States’ entry into World War I, resulting in an outpouring of paintings, lithographs, and drawings in 1918. For this extensive series, he relied on the published accounts of German atrocities in Belgium found in the 1915 Bryce Committee Report commissioned by the British government. The paintings evoke the tradition of grand public history paintings, as seen in Massacre at Dinant (1918, Greenville County Museum of Art), while the drawings and lithographs recall Francisco de Goya’s 18th-century print series The Disasters of War.

Bellows’ late works on paper survey modern American life, from the prisons of Georgia to the tennis courts of Newport, and highlight complex relationships between his various media. Taken from direct experience as well as fictional accounts, they range in tone from lightly satirical and humorous (Business-Men’s Bath, 1923, Boston Public Library) to profoundly disturbing and tragic (The Law Is Too Slow, 1922-1923, Boston Public Library).

In Emma at the Piano (1914, Chrysler Museum of Art), Bellows depicts his wife and lifelong artistic muse. His portraits of women constitute a larger body of work than his more famous boxing paintings. They cover all stages of life and include both the naive, youthful Madeline Davis (1914, Lowell and Sandra Mintz) and the more refined, matronly Mrs. T in Wine Silk (1919, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts).

The show will end with paintings in a variety of styles made in 1924, the year before the artist’s sudden death from appendicitis. Painted in Bellows’ studio in rural Woodstock, New York, these last works, including Dempsey and Firpo (1924, Whitney Museum of American Art), Mr. and Mrs. Philip Wase (1924, Smithsonian American Art Museum), and The White Horse (1922, Worcester Art Museum), will prompt visitors to contemplate the artist Bellows might have become had he lived into the 1960s, as did his friend and contemporary Edward Hopper (1882-1967).

Press release from the National Gallery of Art website

 

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'River Rats' 1906

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
River Rats
1906
Oil on canvas

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'Forty-two Kids' 1907

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Forty-two Kids
1907
Oil on canvas
106.7 × 153cm (42 × 60 1/4 in.)
Corcoran Collection (Museum Purchase, William A. Clark Fund)
National Gallery of Arts, Washington
Open access

 

George Bellows. 'Beach at Coney Island' 1908

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Beach at Coney Island
1908
Oil on canvas
106.7 x 152.4cm (42 x 60 in.)
Private collection

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'Blue Morning' 1909

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Blue Morning
1909
Oil on canvas
86.3cm (33.9 in) x 111.7cm (43.9 in)
National Gallery of Art
Chester Dale Collection

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'New York' 1911

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
New York
1911
Oil on canvas
106.7 x 152.4cm (42 x 60 in.)
National Gallery of Art
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) Bellows. 'Shore House' 1911

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Bellows Shore House
1911
Oil on canvas
Private collection

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'The Big Dory' 1913

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
The Big Dory
1913
Oil on panel
18 in (45.7cm) x 22 in (55.8cm)
New Britain Museum of American Art
Harriet Russell Stanley Fund

 

George Bellows. 'Riverfront, No. 1' 1914

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Riverfront, No. 1
1914
Oil on canvas
115.3 x 160.3cm (45 3/8 x 63 1/8 in.)
Columbus Museum of Art, Museum Purchase, Howald Fund
Public domain

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'Preaching (Billy Sunday)' c. 1915-1923

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Preaching (Billy Sunday)
c. 1915-1923
Crayon, ink, and wash on paper
Boston Public Library
Public domain

 

 

“I like to paint Billy Sunday, not because I like him, but because I want to show the world what I do think of him. Do you know, I believe Billy Sunday is the worst thing that ever happened to America? He is Prussianism personified. His whole purpose is to force authority against beauty. He is against freedom, he wants a religious autocracy, he is such a reactionary that he makes me an anarchist.” – GB, in “Touchstone,” p. 270. The artist’s intent to satirise Billy Sunday was evident to almost everyone but the evangelist himself. An earlier depiction of Billy Sunday in action is seen in “The Sawdust Trail” (M. 48) done in 1916 (below). (Mason)

Text from the Digital Commonwealth website

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'The Saw Dust Trail' 1916

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
The Saw Dust Trail
1916
Oil on canvas
Milwaukee Art Museum, Layton Art Collection

 

 

The catalog quotes Bellows: “I paint Billy Sunday… to show the world what I do think of him. Do you know, I think Billy Sunday is the worst thing that ever happened to America? He is death to imagination, to spirituality, to art.”

 

George Bellows. 'Tennis at Newport' 1920

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Tennis at Newport
1920
Oil on canvas
109.2 x 137.2cm (43 x 54 in.)
James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin

 

George Bellows. 'Return of the Useless' 1918

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Return of the Useless
1918
Oil on canvas
149.9 x 167.6cm (59 x 66 in.)
Courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville

 

George Bellows. 'The Barricade' 1918

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
The Barricade
1918
oil on canvas
124.8 x 211.5cm (49 1/8 x 83 1/4 in.)
Birmingham Museum of Art, Museum purchase with funds provided by the Harold and Regina Simon Fund, the Friends of American Art, Margaret Gresham Livingston, and Crawford L. Taylor, Jr.

 

 

George Bellows

American, 1882-1925

Throughout his childhood in Columbus, Ohio, George Bellows divided much of his time between sports and art. While attending Ohio State University, he created illustrations for the school yearbook and played varsity baseball and basketball. After college Bellows rejected an offer for a professional athletic career with the Cincinnati Reds baseball team, instead pursuing a career as an artist.

In opposition to his father’s wishes, Bellows enrolled in the New York School of Art in 1904. There Bellows elected to study not with the popular and flamboyant William Merritt Chase, but rather with the unorthodox realist Robert Henri. Henri led a radical group of artists, including John Sloan and William Glackens, who exhibited under the name “The Eight.” Although Bellows was elected to the National Academy of Design, he rejected the superficial portrayal of everyday life promoted by the academies. Instead he and his colleagues emphasised the existing social conditions of the early twentieth century, especially in New York. Because their subjects were considered crude and at times even vulgar, critics dubbed them the Ashcan school. Bellows never became an official member of The Eight, but his choice of subjects – docks, street scenes, and prizefights – were typical of the group. Unlike the members of The Eight, Bellows’ enjoyed popular success during his lifetime, particularly with the boxing images that demonstrate his passionate interest in sports and a bold understanding of the human figure.

 

George Bellows. 'Pennsylvania Station Excavation' 1909

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Pennsylvania Station Excavation
1909
Oil on canvas
79.38 x 97.16cm (31 1/4 x 38 1/4 in.)
Brooklyn Museum, A. Augustus Healy Fund

 

George Bellows. 'The Lone Tenement' 1909

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
The Lone Tenement
1909
Oil on canvas
123.2 x 153.4 x 12.7cm (48 1/2 x 60 3/8 x 5 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Chester Dale Collection

 

George Bellows. 'Rain on the River' 1908

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Rain on the River
1908
Oil on canvas
81.3 x 96.5cm (32 x 38 in.)
Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Jesse Metcalf Fund
© Photography by Erik Gould, courtesy of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence

 

George Bellows. 'Blue Snow, The Battery' 1910

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Blue Snow, The Battery
1910
Oil on canvas
86.4 x 111.8cm (34 x 44 in.)
Columbus Museum of Art, Museum Purchase, Howald Fund

 

George Bellows. 'Shore House' 1911

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Shore House
1911
Oil on canvas
101.6 x 106.7cm (40 x 42 in.)
Private collection

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'Men of the Docks' 1912

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Men of the Docks
1912
Oil on canvas
Randolph College, founded as Randolph-Macon Women’s College, 1891, Lynchburg

 

George Bellows. 'Summer Surf' 1914

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Summer Surf
1914
Oil on board
62.6 x 72.7 x 4.8cm (24 5/8 x 28 5/8 x 1 7/8 in.)
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington

 

George Bellows. 'Forth and Back' 1913

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Forth and Back
1913
Oil on panel
38.1 x 49.5cm (15 x 19 1/2 in.)
Private collection

 

George Bellows. 'Churn and Break' 1913

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Churn and Break
1913
Oil on panel
45.7 x 55.9cm (18 x 22 in.)
Columbus Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Edward Powell

 

George Bellows. 'An Island in the Sea' 1911

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
An Island in the Sea
1911
Oil on canvas
87 x 112.7cm (34 1/4 x 44 3/8 in.)
Columbus Museum of Art, Museum Purchase, Howald Fund

 

George Bellows. 'Emma in the Purple Dress' 1919

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Emma in the Purple Dress
1919
Oil on panel
128.27 x 107.95 x 8.89cm (50 1/2 x 42 1/2 x 3 1/2 in.)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Raymond J. and Margaret Horowitz
© Digital Image (C) 2009 Museum Associates / LACMA / Art Resource, NY

 

George Bellows. 'Emma in the Black Print' 1919

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Emma in the Black Print
1919
Oil on canvas
101.9 x 81.9cm (40 1/8 x 32 1/4 in.)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Bequest of John T. Spaulding
© Photograph (C) 2012 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

George Bellows. 'Mrs. T in Wine Silk' 1919

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Mrs. T in Wine Silk
1919
Oil on canvas
121.9 x 96.5cm (48 x 38 in.)
Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mt. Vernon, Gift of John R. and Eleanor R. Mitchell, 1973

 

George Bellows. 'Margarite' 1919

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Margarite
1919
Oil on panel
81.28 x 66.04cm (32 x 26 in.)
Private collection

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'Emma at the Piano' 1914

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Emma at the Piano
1914
Oil on panel
73cm (28.7 in) x 94cm (37 in)
Chrysler Museum of Art Blue
Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.

 

George Bellows. 'Paddy Flannigan' 1908

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Paddy Flannigan
1908
Oil on canvas
76.8 x 63.5cm (30 1/4 x 25 in.)
Erving and Joyce Wolf

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'Frankie, The Organ Boy' 1907

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Frankie, The Organ Boy
1907
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
Purchase, acquired through the bequest of Ben and Clara Shlyen

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'Little Girl in White (Queenie Burnett)' 1907

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Little Girl in White (Queenie Burnett)
1907
158 x 87cm (62 3/16 x 34 1/4 in.)
National Gallery of Arts, Washington
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
Open access

 

 

Advised by his friend and teacher Robert Henri to select subjects that reflected the realism of modern urban life, George Bellows portrayed the recreational activities of New York City’s lower-class children in such paintings as River Rats (1906, private collection), and Forty-two Kids (1907). In 1907 he painted two full-length portraits of individual children: Little Girl in White and Frankie the Organ Boy (both now at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO). Unlike his late 19th-century predecessors, who popularised the street urchin genre by representing well-scrubbed, idealised children playing with pets or engaged in entrepreneurial activities, Bellows portrayed his subjects in a bluntly realistic manner. The subject of this painting, Queenie Burnett, was the artist’s laundry delivery girl. Her underprivileged background is evident in her gaunt face, exaggeratedly large eyes, unkempt hair, and ungainly figure.

This was Bellows’s first figural work to be exhibited around the country – it was included in 15 public exhibitions during his lifetime – and he was awarded the first Hallgarten Prize when the painting was shown at the National Academy of Design in 1913.

Text from the National Gallery of Art website

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'Business-Men's Bath' 1923

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Business-Men’s Bath
1923
Lithograph
16 1/2 × 11 3/4in. (41.9 × 29.8cm)
Boston Public Library

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'The Law Is Too Slow' 1922-1923

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
The Law Is Too Slow
1922-1923
Boston Public Library
Print Department, Albert H. Wiggin Collection

 

Based upon a 1903 newspaper story, dateline Wilmington, Delaware, about a black man who burns at the stake while a mob of perpetrators stand and watch.

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'The White Horse' 1922

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
The White Horse
1922
Oil on canvas
86.6cm (34.1 in) x 111.7cm (44 in)
Worcester Art Museum

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) 'Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Wase' 1924

 

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Wase
1924
Oil on canvas
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of Paul Mellon

 

 

George Bellows spent summers in Woodstock, New York, where Mrs. Wase worked as a cleaning woman and her husband was a gardener. Bellows chose to show the couple stiffly posed and strangely detached from one another. Mrs. Wase’s face shows the worries of a lifetime, and Mr. Wase stares off into the distance, as if thinking of another time or place. Between them, a portrait, perhaps of Mrs. Wase as a bride, hangs on the wall. Their clothes match the shadowy gray of the parlour. Bellows painted suggestions of a brilliantly green summer day beyond the closed shutters, as if to emphasise the distance between youthful optimism and the resignation of old age. The artist experimented with new ways to paint portraits throughout his career, and from 1915 to 1920 he exhibited with the National Association of Portrait Painters, whose mission was to separate from ​”the tiresomely conventional and perfunctory portrait.” (Myers, “‘The Most Searching Place in the World’: Bellows and Portraiture,” in Quick et al., The Paintings of George Bellows1992)

Text from the Smithsonian American Art Museum website

 

 

National Gallery of Art
National Mall between 3rd and 7th Streets
Constitution Avenue NW, Washington

Opening hours:
Monday – Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm
Sunday 11.00am – 6.00pm

National Gallery of Art website

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22
Apr
12

Exhibition: ‘Cy Twombly: Photographs 1951-2010’ at the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels

Exhibition dates: 1st February – 29th April 2012

 

Cy Twombly. 'Foundry, Rome' 2000

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Foundry, Rome
2000
Dryprint on cardboard
43.1 x 27.9cm
© Schirmer/Mosel Verlag – Nicola Del Roscio Foundation

 

 

“In a certain sense, Twombly operates like the pictorialists: his photographs look almost like paintings in which light is captured in brushstrokes.”

Text from the press release

.
Many thankx to the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Cy Twombly. 'Untitled (Rome)' 1966

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Untitled (Rome)
1966
Oil, wall paint, grease crayon on canvas
190 x 200cm
Sammlung Lambrecht-Schadeberg / Rubenspreisträger der Stadt Siegen im Museum für Gegenwartskunst

 

Cy Twombly. 'Yard Sale, Lexington' 2008

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Yard Sale, Lexington
2008
Dryprint on cardboard
43.1 x 27.9cm
© Schirmer/Mosel Verlag – Nicola Del Roscio Foundation

 

Cy Twombly. 'Untitled, Lexington' 2008

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Untitled, Lexington
2008
Dryprint on cardboard
43.1 x 27.9cm
© Schirmer/Mosel Verlag – Fondazione Nicola del Roscio

 

Cy Twombly. 'The Artist's Shoes, Lexington' 2005

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
The Artist’s Shoes, Lexington
2005
Dryprint on cardboard
43.1 x 27.9cm
© Schirmer/Mosel Verlag – Nicola Del Roscio

 

 

As a tribute to the recently deceased artist, the Centre for Fine Arts is turning the spotlight on a less familiar aspect of his oeuvre. The exhibition includes more than 100 dryprint Polaroid photographs (selected by Twombly himself), along with a selection of other works by Twombly and a film portrait by Tacita Dean.

Cy Twombly (who was born in Lexington in 1928 and died in Rome in 2011) was one of the most important US artists of his generation. He made his name with large-scale abstract paintings whose free form and spontaneous dynamism recall calligraphy and graffiti. In his work Twombly often referred to the myths of Classical Greek and Roman Antiquity, to literature and to art history.

The exhibition focuses on a less familiar aspect of Twombly’s oeuvre: his photographic work. The photographs are an addition to the artist’s creative world and throw new light on it. At the request of the publishers Schirmer / Mosel, Twombly selected more than 100 never previously published Polaroid photographs for a catalogue that was published just before his death on 5 July 2011. This selection is the subject of a travelling exhibition that has already been seen in Germany at the Museum Brandhorst (in Munich) and the Museum für Gegenwartskunst (in Siegen). At the Centre for Fine Arts the exhibition is being expanded, in collaboration with Dr. Hubertus von Amelunxen, who wrote an essay for the Twombly catalogue and who has made a selection for BOZAR of drawings and paintings by Twombly that reveal in greater depth the interplay of lines and light in his work. In addition, the exhibition is complemented by the screening of Tacita Dean’s intimate film portrait “Edwin Parker” (which takes its name from Twombly’s official given names).

 

Twombly and photography

Twombly took up photography back in his student days in the 1950s and continued to take photographs throughout his career. It was only in the 1990s, however, that he went public with his photographic work in gallery exhibitions and publications.

All the photographs in the exhibition were taken with a Polaroid camera, enlarged, printed using a special kind of dryprint, and reproduced in limited editions. This procedure, developed by Twombly himself, gives the photographs a hazy glow and a coarse grain. Twombly further reinforced this impression of blurring by playing with light and shade, by overexposure and sophisticated colour saturation, and by employing extreme close-ups. The lack of definition gives his photographs a certain indefinable quality and a poetic dimension. Our attention is no longer drawn to the subject, but to the texture of the picture. In a certain sense, Twombly operates like the pictorialists: his photographs look almost like paintings in which light is captured in brushstrokes.

The subjects of his Polaroid photographs are extremely diverse. There are traditional still lifes with tulips, lemon leaves, and angel trumpets, alongside photographs of temples and atmospheric landscapes. Twombly surprises the viewer with intimate images of everyday objects such as his slippers, a detail from a painting, his brushes, a snapshot of his studio, etc.

The photographs are fascinating because they throw new light on Twombly’s creative spirit and visual language. These intangible, fragile images are permeated by the same themes that inspired the artist’s paintings, drawings, sculptures, and graphic art. The atmospheric colours and diffuse motifs of his photographs are an unexpected addition to his creative universe. Twombly’s oeuvre, moreover, is all about light – and is photography not the medium of light par excellence?

 

Tacita Dean

In the course of the exhibition circuit visitors can see an intimate film portrait of Twombly, Edwin Parker by the British artist Tacita Dean. The film takes its title from Twombly’s official given names (“Cy” is a traditional nickname in his family). The publicity-shy Twombly had become a mythical figure in the world of contemporary art. Dean’s film offers a rare insight into the artist’s life. The camera follows Twombly as he looks at his pictures in his studio, reads letters, looks through the louvres at the traffic in the city of his birth, or sits around a table with old friends and orders a meal. Tacita Dean is a British contemporary artist, known above all for her films. Her latest work to date is FILM, a 35 mm film continuously projected on a 13-metre-high monolith, which can be seen in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern until 11 March 2012.

Press release from the Centre for Fine Arts website

 

Cy Twombly. 'Tulips, Rome' 1985

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Tulips, Rome
1985
Dryprint on cardboard
43.1 x 27.9cm
© Schirmer/Mosel Verlag – Nicola Del Roscio Foundation

 

Cy Twombly. 'Cabbages, Gaeta' 1998

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Cabbages, Gaeta
1998
Dryprint on cardboard
43.1 x 27.9cm
© Schirmer/Mosel Verlag – Nicola Del Roscio Foundation

 

Cy Twombly. 'Painting detail of Roses, Gaeta' 2009

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Painting detail of Roses, Gaeta
2009
Dryprint on cardboard
43.1 x 27.9cm
© Schirmer/Mosel Verlag – Fondazione Nicola del Roscio

 

Cy Twombly. 'Sunset, Gaeta' 2009

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Sunset, Gaeta
2009
Dryprint on cardboard
43.1 x 27.9cm
© Schirmer/Mosel Verlag – Nicola Del Roscio Foundation

 

Cy Twombly. 'Painting Detail and "By the Ionian Sea" Sculpture, Bassano in Teverina' 1992

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Painting Detail and “By the Ionian Sea” Sculpture, Bassano in Teverina
1992
Dryprint on cardboard
43.1 x 27.9cm
© Schirmer/Mosel Verlag – Nicola Del Roscio Foundation

 

Cy Twombly. 'Interior, Rome' 1980

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Interior, Rome
1980
Dryprint on cardboard
43.1 x 27.9cm
© Schirmer/Mosel Verlag – Fondazione Nicola del Roscio

 

 

Centre for Fine Arts
Rue Ravenstein 23
1000 Bruxelles
Info and Tickets 02 507 82 00

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday from 10 am – 6 pm
Closed Mondays

BOZAR website

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20
Sep
11

Exhibition: ‘Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters’ at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Exhibition dates: 29th June – 25th September 2011

Curator: Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, Curator of International Modern Art at Tate Modern.

 

Many thankx to the Dulwich Picture Gallery for allowing me to publish the images in the posting. Please click on them for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Robert Rauschenberg. 'Cy and Relics' 1952

 

Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925-2008)
Cy and Relics
1952
Photograph
© The Rauschenberg Foundation

 

Nicolas Poussin. 'The Triumph of Pan' c. 1636

 

Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594-1665)
The Triumph of Pan
c. 1636
Pen and ink with wash over stylus and black chalk
581 x 410 x 29 mm
Lent by Her Majesty the Queen. The Royal Collection
© 2011 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

 

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Bacchanalia-Fall (5 Days in November) Blatt 4, InvNr. UAB 457
1977
Collage, oil, chalk, gouache, on fabriano paper, graph paper
101.2 x 150.5 cm
Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen – Museum Brandhorst, München
Leihgeber: Udo Brandhorst
© Cy Twombly

 

Cy Twombly. 'Pan' 1975

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Pan
1975
148 x 100cm
Private Collection
© Cy Twombly, Courtesy: Cy Twombly Archive

 

Nicolas Poussin. 'The Triumph of David' 1628-1631

 

Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594-1665)
The Triumph of David
1628-1631
© By permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

 

Cy Twombly. 'Hero and Leandro' 1985

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Hero and Leandro
1985
202 x 254cm
Private Collection, Courtesy Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zurich
© Cy Twombly

 

 

“I would’ve liked to have been Poussin, if I’d had a choice, in another time.”

.
Cy Twombly

 

 

Dulwich Picture Gallery is proud to announce a revelatory exhibition of the work of Cy Twombly and Nicolas Poussin. Organised to celebrate the Bicentenary of the Gallery, this major show will explore, for the first time, the unexpected yet numerous parallels and affinities between the two artists. The exhibition will draw upon the world-class permanent collection of works at Dulwich Picture Gallery by Nicolas Poussin, alongside other works from major collections around the world by both Poussin and Twombly.

In 1624 and 1957, the two artists, aged around thirty, moved to Rome. Nicolas Poussin and Cy Twombly subsequently spent the majority of their lives in the Eternal City, and went on to become the pre-eminent painters of their day. Rather than recent exhibitions that have sought to compare and contrast old masters with contemporary artists through superficial visual appearances, this groundbreaking show will instead juxtapose works which may seem radically disparate in terms of style, yet ones that share deep and timeless interests. Both Poussin and Twombly were artists of prodigious talent who found in the classical heritage of Rome a life-long subject. Both spent their lives studying, revivifying and making newly relevant for their own eras antiquity, ancient history, classical mythology, Renaissance painting, poetry and the imaginary, idealised realm of Arcadia.

Curated by Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, Curator of International Modern Art at Tate Modern, the exhibition examines how Twombly and Poussin, although separated by three centuries, nonetheless engaged with the same sources and will explore the overlapping subjects that the two artists have shared. It will consist of around thirty carefully-chosen paintings, drawings and sculptures, structured thematically around six sections devoted to key shared themes, from both artists’ early fascinations with Arcadia and the pastoral when they first moved to Rome, Venus and Eros, Anxiety and Theatricality, Apollo, Parnassus and Poetry, Pan and the Bacchanalia, through to the theme of The Four Seasons.

The exhibition will be accompanied by the British premiere of Tacita Dean’s new 16mm film portrait of Cy Twombly, Edwin Parker (2011). The film documents Twombly in his studio in Lexington, Virginia, and follows on from Dean’s series of filmed depictions of subjects such as the choreographer Merce Cunningham, the poet Michael Hamburger and the artist Mario Merz, where the inner life of the sitter is implied through their physical demeanour and surroundings. A series of talks will also accompany the exhibition, including Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate, in conversation with Dr. Nicholas Cullinan on the topic of curating Twombly, and Malcolm Bull (Ruskin School of Drawing, University of Oxford) and T. J. Clark (Professor Emeritus of Modern Art at the University of California, Berkeley; and Visiting Professor, University of York) who will discuss the work of Poussin and Twombly and the themes raised by the exhibition.

Ian Dejardin, Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery explains that the exhibition “fits in with a philosophy I have pursued here – that exhibitions can conduct a dialogue with the permanent collection. In the past Howard Hodgkin, Lucian Freud and Paula Rego have all hung their paintings within the collection, so Poussin and Twombly seemed like a natural extension of those experiments.”

The exhibition has received enthusiastic support and loans from major private and public collections around the world, including The National Gallery and Tate in London; The Royal Collection; The Duke of Devonshire; The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Museo del Prado, Madrid; The Brandhorst Museum, Munich and The Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition has been developed in close collaboration with Cy Twombly himself, and will include works that have never been exhibited before.”

Press release from the Dulwich Picture Gallery

 

Nicolas Poussin. 'Rinaldo and Armida' c. 1630

 

Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594-1665)
Rinaldo and Armida
c. 1630
© By permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

 

Nicolas Poussin. 'The Nurture of Jupiter' mid 1630s

 

Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594-1665)
The Nurture of Jupiter
mid 1630s
© By permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

 

Cy Twombly. 'Quattro Stagioni: Primavera' 1993-5

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Quattro Stagioni: Primavera
1993-5
Acrylic, oil, crayon and pencil on canvas
3230 x 1996 x 67mm
Tate: Purchased with assistance from the American Fund for the Tate Gallery and Tate Members 2002
© Tate, London, 2010, © Cy Twombly

 

Cy Twombly. 'Quattro Stagioni: Estate' 1993-5

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Quattro Stagioni: Estate
1993-5
Acrylic and pencil on canvas
3241 x 2250 x 67mm
Tate: Purchased with assistance from the American Fund for the Tate Gallery and Tate Members 2002
© Tate, London, 2010, © Cy Twombly

 

Nicolas Poussin. 'Venus and Mercury' c. 1627/1629

 

Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594-1665)
Venus and Mercury
c. 1627/1629
© By permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

 

Cy Twombly. 'Quattro Stagioni: Autunno' 1993-5

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Quattro Stagioni: Autunno
1993-5
Acrylic, oil, crayon and pencil on canvas
3230 x 2254 x 67mm
Tate: Purchased with assistance from the American Fund for the Tate Gallery and Tate Members 2002
© Tate, London, 2010, © Cy Twombly

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011) 'Quattro Stagioni: Inverno' 1993-5

 

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Quattro Stagioni: Inverno
1993-5
Acrylic, oil and pencil on canvas
3229 x 2300 x 67mm
Tate: Purchased with assistance from the American Fund for the Tate Gallery and Tate Members 2002
© Tate, London, 2010, © Cy Twombly

 

 

Dulwich Picture Gallery
Gallery Road, London, SE21 7AD

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays

Dulwich Picture Gallery website

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01
Apr
11

Exhibition: ‘Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera’ at the Brooklyn Museum, New York

Exhibition dates: 19th November 2010 – 10th April 2011

 

The first and last photographs (precursor to Avedon’s white background photographs) are a knockout – and then just look what Rockwell does with them!

The background of traditional tattoo ‘flash’ behind The Tattoo Artist (1944, below) is inspired, as is the humour in the crossing out of the names. The book of the English painter Augustus John nonchalantly placed on the counter in the photographic studies for Soda Jerk (1953) is delicious. Just fantastic to see some of the preparatory work behind the paintings.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the Brooklyn Museum for allowing me to publish the artwork and text in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Gene Pelham (American, 1909-2004)
 'Photograph for The Tattoo Artist' 1944


 

Gene Pelham (American, 1909-2004)
Photograph for The Tattoo Artist
1944
Study for The Saturday Evening Post, March 4, 1944
11 ¼ x 8 ¾ in.
Norman Rockwell Museum Archival Collections
Norman Rockwell Licensing, Niles, Illinois

 

Gene Pelham (American, 1909-2004)
 'Photograph for The Tattoo Artist' 1944


 

Gene Pelham (American, 1909-2004)
Photograph for The Tattoo Artist
1944
Study for The Saturday Evening Post, March 4, 1944
11 ¼ x 8 ¾ in.
Norman Rockwell Museum Archival Collections
Norman Rockwell Licensing, Niles, Illinois

 

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
 'The Tattoo Artist' 1944


 

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
The Tattoo Artist
1944
Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, March 4, 1944
Oil on canvas
43 x 33 in.
Collection of the Brooklyn Museum
Gift of the artist 
© 1944
SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis

 

Gene Pelham (American, 1909-2004)
 'Photograph for Going and Coming' 1947


 

Gene Pelham (American, 1909-2004)
Photograph for Going and Coming
1947
Study for The Saturday Evening Post, August 30, 1947
11 1/4 x 15 5/8 in.
Norman Rockwell Museum Archival Collections
Norman Rockwell Licensing, Niles, Illinois

 

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
 'Going and Coming' 1947


 

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
Going and Coming
1947
Tear sheet, The Saturday Evening Post, August 30, 1947
13 5/8 x 10 5/8 in.
Norman Rockwell Museum Archival Collection 
© 1947
SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis

 

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
 'Photographs for The Problem We All Live With' 1964


 

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
Photographs for The Problem We All Live With
1964
Study for Look, January 14, 1964
Norman Rockwell Museum Archival Collections
Norman Rockwell Licensing, Niles, Illinois

 

 

To create many of his iconic, quintessentially American paintings, most of which served as magazine covers, norman rockwell worked from carefully staged study photographs that are on view for the first time, alongside his paintings, drawings, and related tear sheets, in Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera. The exhibition, which will be on view at the Brooklyn Museum from November 19, 2010, through April 10, 2011, was organised by the norman rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, following a two-year project that preserved and digitised almost 20,000 negatives.

Beginning in the late 1930s, norman rockwell (1894-1978) adopted photography as a tool to bring his illustration ideas to life in studio sessions. Working as a director, he carefully staged his photographs, selecting props, locations, and models and orchestrating every detail. He began by collecting authentic props and costumes, and what he did not have readily available he purchased, borrowed, or rented – from a dime-store hairbrush or coffee cup to a roomful of chairs and tables from a New York City Automat. He created numerous photographs for each new subject, sometimes capturing complete compositions and, in other instances, combining separate pictures of individual elements. Over the forty years that he used photographs as his painting guide, he worked with many skilled photographers, particularly Gene Pelham, Bill Scovill, and Louis Lamone.

Early in his career Norman Rockwell used professional models, but he eventually found that this method inhibited his evolving naturalistic style. When he turned to photography, he turned to friends and neighbours instead of professional models to create his many detailed study photographs, which he found liberating. Working from black-and-white study photographs also allowed Rockwell more freedom in developing his final work. “If a model has worn a red sweater, I have painted it red – I couldn’t possibly make it green… But when working with photographs I seem able to recompose in many ways: as to form, tone, and color,” Rockwell once commented.

Included in the exhibition will be more than one hundred framed digital prints alongside paintings, drawings, magazine tear sheets, photographic equipment, and archival letters, as well as an introductory film. Among the paintings on view will be the Brooklyn Museum’s painting The Tattoo Artist – one of many that Rockwell created during World War II – depicting a young sailor stoically having his arm tattooed, shown alongside working photographs by Gene Pelham, and the watercolour Dugout, also from the Museum’s collection, portraying the Chicago Cubs baseball team being jeered by fans of the Boston Braves. This work will be displayed along with the September 4, 1948, Saturday Evening Post cover on which it appeared and study photographs by Gene Pelham.

Among the magazine covers included in the exhibition are several from The Saturday Evening Post, for which Rockwell worked for nearly fifty years before turning his attentions to more socially relevant subjects for Look magazine, with which he had a decade-long relationship. Included is The Art Critic, showing an aspiring artist scrutinising paintings in a gallery, which appeared in the April 16, 1955, issue. The exhibition also includes several series of photographs and the final paintings and magazine tear sheets, among them the July 13, 1946, Saturday Evening Post illustration Maternity Waiting Room, shown along with a series of images by an unidentified photographer that served as details of the final work, which portrays ten anxious soon-to-be fathers.

Norman Rockwell became one of the most famous illustrators of his generation through his naturalistic, narrative paintings done in a readily recognisable style, which appeared in national magazines that reached millions of readers. Born in 1894 on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, he left high school to study at the National Academy of Design and later the Art Students League of New York. By the age of eighteen he was already a published artist specialising in children’s illustration and had become a regular contributor to magazines such as Boys’ Life, the monthly magazine of the Boy Scouts of America, where he was soon named art director. In 1916 he painted his first cover for The Saturday Evening Post, beginning a forty-seven-year relationship that resulted in 323 covers and was the centerpiece of his career.

Early in his career Rockwell had a studio in New Rochelle, New York. He later moved with his wife and three sons to Arlington, Vermont, where many of his family and neighbours served as models in working photographs for his illustrations, which began to focus on small-town American life. In 1943 a fire destroyed his Vermont studio, along with numerous paintings and many of the photographic studies. A decade later the family relocated to Stockbridge, Massachusetts. In 1963 he severed his forty-seven-year association with The Saturday Evening Post and began to work for Look magazine, where, during his ten-year association, he produced work that reflected his personal concerns, including civil rights, America’s war on poverty, and space exploration.

Press release from the Brooklyn Museum website

 

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
 'New Kids in the Neighborhood' 1967

 

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
New Kids in the Neighborhood
1967
Tear sheet, Look, May 16, 1967
13 x 20 ½ in.
Norman Rockwell Museum Archival Collections
Norman Rockwell Licensing, Niles, Illinois

 

Gene Pelham (American, 1909-2004) '
Photograph for Shuffleton's Barbershop' 1950


 

Gene Pelham (American, 1909-2004)
Photograph for Shuffleton’s Barbershop
1950
Study for The Saturday Evening Post, April 29, 1950
11 5/16 x 7 15/16 in.
Norman Rockwell Museum Archival Collections
Norman Rockwell Licensing, Niles, Illinois

 

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
 'Shuffleton's Barbershop' 1950


 

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
Shuffleton’s Barbershop
1950
Cover Illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, April 29, 1950
Oil on canvas
45 ¾ x 42 ½ in.
Collection of the Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA 
©1950
SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis

 

Gene Pelham (American, 1909-2004) 'Photograph for Soda Jerk' 1953


 

Gene Pelham (American, 1909-2004)
Photograph for Soda Jerk
1953
Study for The Saturday Evening Post, August 22, 1953
9 ½ x 7 9/16 in.
Norman Rockwell Museum Archival Collections
Norman Rockwell Licensing, Niles, Illinois

 

Gene Pelham (American, 1909-2004) 'Photograph for Soda Jerk' 1953


 

Gene Pelham (American, 1909-2004)
Photograph for Soda Jerk
1953
Study for The Saturday Evening Post, August 22, 1953
9 ½ x 7 9/16 in.
Norman Rockwell Museum Archival Collections
Norman Rockwell Licensing, Niles, Illinois

 

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978) '
Soda Jerk' 1953


 

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
Soda Jerk
1953
Tear sheet, The Saturday Evening Post, August 22, 1953
13 5/8 x 10 5/8
 in.
Norman Rockwell Museum Archival Collections 
© 1953
SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis

 

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978) 'The Dugout' 1948


 

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
The Dugout
1948
Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, September 4, 1948
Transparent and opaque watercolor over graphite on two sheets of conjoined cream, moderately thick, moderately textured wove paper
19 x 17 13/16 in.
Collection of the Brooklyn Museum
Gift of Kenneth Stuart 
© 1948
SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis

 

Gene Pelham (American, 1909-2004) 
'Photograph for The Dugout' 1948

 

Gene Pelham (American, 1909-2004)
Photograph for The Dugout
1948
Study for The Saturday Evening Post, September 4, 1948
Norman Rockwell Art Collection Trust
Licensed by Norman Rockwell Licensing, Niles, Illinois

 

 

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn
New York 11238-6052

Opening hours:
Wednesday – Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
Open until 10 pm on Thursday

Brooklyn Museum website

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18
Mar
10

Exhibition: ‘Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction’ at The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.

Exhibition dates: 6th February – 9th May 2010

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Grey Blue & Black - Pink Circle' 1929

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Grey Blue & Black – Pink Circle
1929
Oil on canvas
36 x 48 in. (91.4 x 121.9 cm)
Dallas Museum of Art
Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation

 

 

Many thankx to Shira Pinsker and The Phillips Collection for allowing me to reproduce the images in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

For an excellent analysis of the convergences between Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams see Geneva Anderson’s review Masters of the Southwest: Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams Natural Affinities.

Marcus

 

 

“It is surprising to me to see how many people separate the objective from the abstract. Objective painting is not good painting unless it is good in the abstract sense. A hill or tree cannot make a good painting just because it is a hill or a tree. It is lines and colours put together so that they say something. For me that is the very basis of painting. The abstraction is often the most definite form for the intangible thing in myself that I can only clarify in paint.”

“I long ago came to the conclusion that even if I could put down accurately the thing that I saw and enjoyed, it would not give the observer the kind of feeling it gave me. I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at – not copy it.”

.
Georgia O’Keeffe, 1976

 

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Flower Abstraction' 1924

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Flower Abstraction
1924
Oil on canvas
48 x 30 in.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
50th Anniversary Gift of Sandra Payson
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. IV' 1930

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. IV
1930
Oil on canvas
40 x 30 in.
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Bequest of Georgia O’Keeffe
Image courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington

 

 

Wall text from the exhibition

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) is fixed in the public imagination as a painter of places and things. She has long been recognised for her still lifes of flowers, leaves, animal bones and shells, her images of Manhattan skyscrapers, and her Lake George and New Mexico landscapes. Yet it was with abstraction that O’Keeffe entered the art world and first became celebrated as an artist. In the spring of 1916, she burst onto the New York art scene with a group of abstract charcoal drawings that were among the most radical works produced in the United States in the early twentieth century. As she expanded her repertoire in the years that followed to include watercolour and oil, she retained the fluid space and dynamic, organic motifs of these early charcoals.

Abstraction dominated O’Keeffe’s output in the early part of her career and remained a fundamental language for her thereafter. Some of her abstractions have no recognisable source in the natural world; others distill visible reality into elemental, simplified forms. For O’Keeffe, abstraction offered a way to portray what she called the “unknown” – intense thoughts and feelings she could not express in words and did not rationally understand. Her abstractions recorded an array of emotions and responses to people and places. At the heart of her practice was an affinity for the flux and sinuous rhythms of nature. Through swelling forms and sumptuous colour, O’Keeffe depicted the experience of being in nature – so enveloped by its sublime mystery and beauty that awareness of all else is suspended.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Early Abstraction' 1915

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Early Abstraction
1915
Charcoal on paper
24 x 18 5/8 in. (61 x 47.3 cm)
Milwaukee Art Museum
Gift of Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation and The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
Photography by Malcolm Varon
© Milwaukee Art Museum

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Blue II' 1916

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Blue II
1916
Watercolour on paper
27 7/8 x 22 1/4 in. (70.8 x 56.5 cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Gift, The Burnett Foundation
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Untitled (Abstraction/Portrait of Paul Strand)' 1917

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Untitled (Abstraction/Portrait of Paul Strand)
1917
Watercolour on paper
12 x 8 7/8 in. (30.5 x 22.5 cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Gift, The Burnett Foundation
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

 

 

The artistic achievement of Georgia O’Keeffe is examined from a fresh perspective in Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction, a landmark exhibition debuting this winter at The Phillips Collection. While O’Keeffe (1887-1986) has long been recognised as one of the central figures in 20th-century art, the radical abstract work she created throughout her long career has remained less well-known than her representational art. By surveying her abstractions, Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction repositions O’Keeffe as one of America’s first and most daring abstract artists. The exhibition, one of the largest of O’Keeffe’s work ever assembled, goes on view February 6 – May 9, 2010.

Including more than 125 paintings, drawings, watercolours, and sculptures by O’Keeffe as well as selected examples of Alfred Stieglitz’s famous photographic portrait series of O’Keeffe, the exhibition has been many years in the making.

While it is true that O’Keeffe has entered the public imagination as a painter of sensual, feminine subjects, she is nevertheless viewed first and foremost as a painter of places and things. When one thinks of her work it is usually of her magnified images of open flowers and her iconic depictions of animal bones, her Lake George landscapes, her images of stark New Mexican cliffs, and her still lifes of fruit, leaves, shells, rocks, and bones. Even O’Keeffe’s canvasses of architecture, from the skyscrapers of Manhattan to the adobe structures of Abiquiu, come to mind more readily than the numerous works – made throughout her career – that she termed abstract.

This exhibition is the first to examine O’Keeffe’s achievement as an abstract artist. In 1915, O’Keeffe leaped into the forefront of American modernism with a group of abstract charcoal drawings that were among the most radical creations produced in the United States at that time. A year later, she added colour to her repertoire; by 1918, she was expressing the union of abstract form and colour in paint. First exhibited in 1923, O’Keeffe’s psychologically charged, brilliantly coloured abstract oils garnered immediate critical and public acclaim. For the next decade, abstraction would dominate her attention. Even after 1930, when O’Keeffe’s focus turned increasingly to representational subjects, she never abandoned abstraction, which remained the guiding principle of her art. She returned to abstraction in the mid 1940s with a new, planar vocabulary that provided a precedent for a younger generation of abstractionists.

Abstraction and representation for O’Keeffe were neither binary nor oppositional. She moved freely from one to the other, cognisant that all art is rooted in an underlying abstract formal invention. For O’Keeffe, abstraction offered a way to communicate ineffable thoughts and sensations. As she said in 1976, “The abstraction is often the most definite form for the intangible thing in myself that I can only clarify in paint.” Through her personal language of abstraction, she sought to give visual form (as she confided in a 1916 letter to Alfred Stieglitz) to “things I feel and want to say – [but] havent [sic] words for.” Abstraction allowed her to express intangible experience – be it a quality of light, colour, sound, or response to a person or place. As O’Keeffe defined it in 1923, her goal as a painter was to “make the unknown – known. By unknown I mean the thing that means so much to the person that he wants to put it down – clarify something he feels but does not clearly understand.”

This exhibition and catalogue chronicle the trajectory of O’Keeffe’s career as an abstract artist and examine the forces impacting the changes in her subject matter and style. From the beginning of her career, she was, as critic Henry McBride remarked, “a newspaper personality.” Interpretations of her art were shaped almost exclusively by Alfred Stieglitz, artist, charismatic impresario, dealer, editor, and O’Keeffe’s eventual husband, who presented her work from 1916 to 1946 at the groundbreaking galleries “291”, the Anderson Galleries, the Intimate Gallery, and An American Place. Stieglitz’s public and private statements about O’Keeffe’s early abstractions and the photographs he took of her, partially clothed or nude, led critics to interpret her work – to her great dismay – as Freudian-tinged, psychological expressions of her sexuality.

Cognisant of the public’s lack of sympathy for abstraction and seeking to direct the critics away from sexualised readings of her work, O’Keeffe self-consciously began to introduce more recognisable images into her repertoire in the mid-1920s. As she wrote to the writer Sherwood Anderson in 1924, “I suppose the reason I got down to an effort to be objective is that I didn’t like the interpretations of my other things [abstractions].” O’Keeffe’s increasing shift to representational subjects, coupled with Stieglitz’s penchant for favouring the exhibition of new, previously unseen work, meant that O’Keeffe’s abstractions rarely figured in the exhibitions Stieglitz mounted of her work after 1930, with the result that her first forays into abstraction virtually disappeared from public view.”

Text from the Phillips Collection website [Online] Cited 15/03/2010 no longer available online

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Music, Pink and Blue No. 2' 1918

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Music, Pink and Blue No. 2
1918
Oil on canvas, 35 x 29 1/8 in. (88.9 x 74 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Gift of Emily Fisher Landau in honour of Tom Armstrong
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York
Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Series I - No. 3' 1918

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Series I – No. 3
1918
Oil on board
20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm)
Milwaukee Art Museum
Gift of Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation and The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
Photography by Larry Sanders
© Milwaukee Art Museum

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Series I, No. 4' 1918

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Series I, No. 4
1918
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm)
Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Abstraction White Rose' 1927

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Abstraction White Rose
1927
Oil on canvas
36 x 30 in. (91.4 x 76.2 cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Gift, The Burnett Foundation and The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Black Place II' 1944

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Black Place II
1944
Oil on canvas
36 x 40 in. (91.4 x 101.6 cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Gift, The Burnett Foundation
© 1987, Private Collection

 

 

The Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street, NW, Washington, D.C., near the corner of 21st and Q Streets, NW

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, with extended evening hours on Thursdays until 8.30 pm, and on Sundays from 12 pm to 6 pm.

Phillips Collection website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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