Friday, August 17, 2012
George Bellows show at NGA
Most people know George Bellow for his fighter paintings, gritty and harsh, they have their own following. I have always known him for his Ash Can painter roots and one painting that hangs in the National Gallery-his Lone Tenement. It a beautiful painting light filled within a field of neutrals.
For the past few months there has been an amazing exhibit at the National Gallery which will soon go to New York and London.130 paintings, drawing and lithographs... it is a George Bellows bonanza. Here is a link for the press release from the show.
In the later part of his life he focused on his family and his home. During that period he shared his time between Chicago and Woodstock NY (both places he also shared his knowledge teaching at the Institute of Chicago and Woodstock School of Art.). In the later years he painted large portraits of his wife and daughters and his home in Woodstock. To me these works seemed very different than the works of his earlier career.
As a personal comment, I was blown away by his landscapes, especially the large, urban landscapes. The compositions are compelling, made up of almost all neutrals with small pieces of pure color.
If you get a chance be sure to catch this show. In DC it will be hanging till October 8th. Next the show will move to NYC and open at the Met on November 14th.