November 8, 2016 | Brilliance and madness; poverty and fame—the life of Ralph Albert Blakelock (1847–1919) forms one of the more fascinating chapters in the history of American art.
Dream Within a Dream by Ralph Albert Blakelock. Questroyal Fine Art LLC, New York.
His early work centered on evocative scenes of the West in the manner of the Hudson River school, drawn from his solitary travels among native tribes. Blakelock later developed a singular expressive style marked by the thick brushwork and scuffed surfaces with which he rendered moody, near-hallucinatory moonlit landscapes.
All his working life Blakelock struggled for recognition. Desperate to feed his large family and increasingly delusional, he finally succumbed to schizophrenia and was committed to an asylum in 1899. While there, Blakelock at last achieved great renown—yet even so, he was victimized by charlatans in his final years. Questroyal Fine Art will tell Blakelock’s story in a selling exhibition of 125 of his pa…» More
November 7, 2016 | A decidedly different perspective on the pasture can be seen at the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Pennsylvania.
Barn with Snow by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1933. San Diego Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge. © 2016 Georgia O'Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
While modernism was taking root in the cities of Europe, in this country urban artists from the Stieglitz circle and regionalist painters alike looked inland to the hinterlands, searching for an American style. “Rural modernism,” according to the Brandywine show, is what they created.
Drawing on techniques imported from the Continent and developed in the artistic crucibles of New York, Chicago, and Boston—but also in bucolic locales like rural Iowa and Texas—painters such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Maynard Dixon, Josephine Joy, N. C. Wyeth, and others created a body of work that was ebullient and beautiful—but often anything but idyllic.
Disaster was a common theme in the days of the D…» More
November 7, 2016 | Though the United States has been predominantly a nation of city dwellers since the 1920s, the farm still figures large in the American consciousness.
Spring Turning by Grant Wood, 1936. Reynolda House Museum of American Art, gift of Barbara B. Millhouse.
Two noteworthy exhibitions this fall examine artistic treatments of the agrarian landscape, offering a striking contrast in viewpoints. Grant Wood and the American Farm, at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, presents a lyrical survey depicting humankind in harmony with nature. It includes works from the Hudson River school’s Jasper Cropsey, impressionist Childe Hassam, and regionalists such as Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. A highlight is Wood’s 1936 oil Spring Turning—a hypnotic god’s-eye view of a rural universe untouched by twentieth-century progress. No automobiles, no machinery of any kind is seen as farmers and their teams of horses plow the land into a vast…» More
November 7, 2016 |
Self-Portrait (with Skeleton Arm) by Edvard Munch, 1895. Munch Museum, Oslo.
Asked to name two artists least likely to be paired in a museum exhibition, you could do worse than to suggest Edvard Munch and Jasper Johns. The former is the father of expressionism, maker of The Scream and other paintings filled with anxiety and existential dread; the latter is best known for his cool and detached depictions of commonplace objects such as flags and targets—works that laid the foundation for pop art and other contemporary art movements. But a new show at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts reveals unexpected links between the two artists, the most suggestive of which is a piece of bedding. The pattern of a coverlet in Munch’s late-life Self-Portrait Between the Clock and the Bed is nearly identical to a crosshatched motif that Johns used almost obsessively in his paintings of the mid 1970s to early 1980s. While the famously reticent Johns will not discus…» More
November 3, 2016 | By Marisa Bartolucci
Drama and scandal swirled around the opening of the twenty-eighth edition of the Biennale des Antiquaires. Less than a week before the celebrated fair opened, there was a thwarted terrorist attack near Notre Dame that only heightened anxiety about security, which was already tight, at the glorious glass-domed Grand Palais where the fair takes place, and made Parisians even gloomier about the year’s precipitous drop in tourism due to earlier attacks. On top of all that, antiques dealers were still reeling after the arrests of Laurent Kraemer, director of Galerie Kraemer, and Bill Pallot, a respected expert in eighteenth-century French furniture at the estimable gallery Didier Aaron, on suspicion of selling fake Louis XV chairs. Kraemer, whose gallery is the oldest family-run business in Paris, insisted on his ignorance of any fraud, but withdrew from the Biennale. The Syndicat National des Antiquaires, the sponsor of the Biennale, also suspended Didier Aaro…» More
by Émile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933), 1926. Macassar ebony, amaranth, and ivory. Metropolitan Museum of Art. By Cynthia Drayton» View All