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.

George Bellows was a student of Robert Henri and was associated with "the eight" and the Ashcan School. He painted scenes of NYC: the tenements and the fights. He was very political and publically supported the US intervention in World War. Included in the show are  paintings and lithographs that graphically depict the atrocities committed by Germany during its invasion of Belgium. The paintings are very disturbing.
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.


SamArtDog said...

Thanks, Loriann! I had never seen these before. I won't forget them.

loriann signori said...

Hi Sam, They really are amazing.I think you would like many of the other mostly neutral urban landscapes I didn't add. Dust and fire particles provide a dancing lightscape. I can't wait to go back again.

Carol Lee Beckx said...

In addition to the wonderful colors his compositions are masterful, an inspiring post, thank you.

John O'Grady said...

Thanks for the post Loriann, the "lone Tenemant" seems to have an internal light.

loriann signori said...

Hi Carol, yes the compositions are masterful. you can spend hours just looking, enjoying then trying to figure it all out.

Hi John, yes you are right - the Lone Tenement- does have an internal light. Masterfully done with the use of neutrals.