Friday, December 14, 2012

George Bellows at the Metropolitan Museum


George Bellows (American, Columbus, Ohio 1882–1925 New York City). Forty-two Kids, 1907. Oil on canvas. 42 x 60 in. (106.7 x 152.4 cm). Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Museum Purchase, William A. Clark Fund


From now until February 18, 2013, you have the opportunity to see a remarkable exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, "George Bellows." This retrospective of the artist's short career is filled with wonderful paintings of New York City, where Bellows lived and worked from 1904 to his death in 1925.

Bellows came to New York at the age of 22 to pursue his dream of becoming a painter. He studied at the New York School of Art under Robert Henri and was pushed -- along with classmate Edward Hopper -- to capture New York in its gritty realism.


George Bellows (American, Columbus, Ohio 1882–1925 New York City). Why Don't They Go to the Country for Vacation?, 1913. Transfer drawing, reworked with lithographic crayon, ink, and scraping, 25 x 22 1/2 in. (63.5 x 57.2 cm). Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Fund

Among Bellows favorite subjects were the immigrants of the Lower East Side; one section of the exhibit chronicles the development of his image "The Cliff Dwellers," -- a chaotic Lower East Side street scene -- as a painting, watercolor, and lithograph. Bellows was also drawn to the edges of the island, and the show features many scenes of the East River, Hudson River, Battery Park, and Riverside Park, a locale the artist would return to again and again.



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

Seeing these images reproduced in two dimensions on a computer screen doesn't do them justice. If you are going to the Met this holiday season, do stop by the Bellows show. It's a compact exhibit and well worth your time.


George Bellows (American, Columbus, Ohio 1882–1925 New York City). Rain on the River, 1908. Oil on canvas, 32 x 38 in. (81.3 x 96.5 cm). Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Jesse Metcalf Fund


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