George Luks

George Luks

George Luks nasceu em 1867. Depois de viajar pela Europa, voltou aos Estados Unidos em 1894 e tornou-se ilustrador em The Philadelphia Press.

Em 1896, Luks mudou-se para Nova York, onde se tornou amigo de Robert Henri e John Sloan. Mais tarde, ele foi associado ao que Art Young descreveu como a Escola Ash Can. Henri, que lecionava na Escola de Arte de Nova York, era o líder do grupo e defendia que a arte deveria ser "uma força social que agita o mundo". Henri também exortou os artistas a usarem o "rico tema fornecido pela vida urbana moderna".

Quando a Academia Nacional em 1907 falhou em reconhecer a importância de Robert Henri e seus seguidores, ele montou sua própria exposição sob o título Os Oito. Henri argumentou: “Os partidos revolucionários que rompem com as velhas instituições, com as organizações mortas são sempre chefiados por homens com uma visão de ordem, com homens que percebem que deve haver um equilíbrio na vida, tanto do que é bom para cada homem , tanto para testar os tendões de sua alma, tanto para estimular sua alegria. "

Em 1913, as ideias de Henri inspiraram a Exposição Internacional de Arte Moderna (Armory Show) realizada na cidade de Nova York. As obras de Luks apareceram na exposição. Realizada no 69º Regimento Arsenal, a exposição incluiu mais de 1.300 obras, incluindo 430 da Europa. A mostra, que decorreu entre os dias 17 de fevereiro e 15 de março, recebeu cerca de 250 mil visitantes.

Como Robert Henri e John Sloan, Luks se identificava com as classes mais pobres e o tema de suas pinturas freqüentemente refletia suas tentativas de refletir questões contemporâneas. Sua pintura mais conhecida é Os lutadores. Luks continuou a lecionar na Arts Students League

George Luks, que bebia muito, foi encontrado morto em uma porta em outubro de 1933, após se envolver em uma briga de embriaguez.

Ele falava sobre as pinturas que trouxemos por três ou quatro horas e, no processo de falar sobre essas pinturas, ele as criticava não do ponto de vista de alguma norma de excelência pré-estabelecida, mas em relação às suas próprias idéias. Ele falava dos próprios interesses enquanto falava da pintura e da maneira, como ele tinha mais experiência, mais experiência propositiva com a cultura em geral do que a turma de jovens que estava ali, suas discussões eram muito educativas.

É a desordem na mente do homem que produz o caos do tipo que provoca uma guerra pela qual somos hoje oprimidos. é o fracasso em ver as várias fases da vida em sua relação última que traz o militarismo, a escravidão, o desejo de uma nação de conquistar outra, a disposição de destruir para fins egoístas e desumanos.

Os partidos revolucionários que rompem com as velhas instituições, com as organizações mortas são sempre dirigidos por homens com visão de ordem, com homens que percebem que deve haver equilíbrio na vida, tanto do que é bom para cada homem, tanto para testar os tendões de sua alma, tanto para estimular sua alegria.


George Luks - História

Nota do Editor: O seguinte ensaio de catálogo com textos associados foi reimpresso na Biblioteca de Recursos em 24 de novembro de 2008 com permissão do autor e do Museu de Arte de Cantão. Se você tiver perguntas ou comentários sobre o texto, entre em contato com o Canton Museum of Art diretamente: em 1001 Market Avenue North, Canton, Ohio 44702 ou através deste número de telefone ou endereço da web:

George Luks: as aquarelas redescobertas

G eorge Luks, o enfant terrible da pintura americana, ficaria satisfeito com sua reputação de sobrevivente como o cronista do lado mais corajoso da vida americana. Suas imagens de mulheres mendigas e meninos de rua do auge de seus dias de & quotAsh Can & quot na virada do século XX são declarações sociais e culturais, além de serem importantes obras de arte. Essas pinturas, que seus contemporâneos consideraram chocantes e rudes, são para os olhos modernos registros poderosos da vida cotidiana. A admiração por seu estilo de pintura brusco e seu desenho seguro sustentaram ainda mais a reputação de Luks como uma figura significativa na pintura americana. Sua importância para o movimento realista foi claramente documentada em livros, catálogos e exposições dedicadas ao assunto, e seu lugar na história da arte americana está bem estabelecido.

Esse reconhecimento foi obtido principalmente no corpo de trabalho de Luks executado a óleo - o meio pelo qual ele é mais conhecido. Mas ele também era um aquarelista dedicado, foi o primeiro meio em que trabalhou e que continuou a usar até os últimos anos. Alguns acham que essas aquarelas refletem um lado menos sério do artista. Freqüentemente, eles são considerados esboços feitos como um passo preliminar para seus óleos e, portanto, de importância secundária. No entanto, isso é contrário à maneira imediata e espontânea como Luks trabalhou, e em nenhum dos meios ele preparou conscientemente esboços preliminares.

Esta exposição demonstra que Luks considerou as suas aguarelas como obras acabadas e que as suas técnicas e temas são consistentes e paralelos aos seus trabalhos sobre tela. Ele também revelará que o elo comum entre as duas mídias, e de fato o fio comum em toda a produção diversa de Luks, é a busca do realismo do artista.

A pintura em aquarela é um meio antigo que remonta aos tempos pré-históricos. No entanto, foi somente no século XIX que as aquarelas começaram a aspirar à estatura dos óleos na hierarquia da mídia artística. A pintura em aquarela começou a florescer no século XVIII na Inglaterra. No século seguinte, J. M. W. Turner desenvolveu um estilo direto de aplicação da aquarela ao papel que diferia do método mais comum de usar aquarelas como uma segunda etapa para adicionar interesse aos desenhos a lápis ou tinta. Turner é um dos poucos artistas ao longo da história a trabalhar tanto em óleo quanto em aquarela no mesmo nível, e inspirou gerações de artistas que viriam, incluindo muitos americanos.

Luks começou sua carreira artística trabalhando como ilustrador na Philadelphia Press, onde os artistas eram necessários para registrar os eventos das notícias antes que a fotografia pudesse ser aplicada de forma barata para esse fim. Foi lá, por volta de 1892-95, que ele conheceu seus colegas artistas William Glackens, Everett Shinn e John Sloan, que, junto com Robert Henri, formariam o núcleo de & quotThe Eight & quot mais de uma década depois em Nova York. Já um humanitário por meio de sua educação nas comunidades étnicas de Williamsport, Shenandoah e Pottsville, Pensilvânia, onde seu pai era médico rural e farmacêutico, Luks era um observador ávido da condição humana com simpatia pelos oprimidos. [1] o trabalho na imprensa forneceu maior exposição ao estudo da condição humana, muitas vezes focalizando, como as notícias costumam fazer, em eventos trágicos.

Luks era prodigioso com lápis e papel desde a infância e havia desenvolvido uma coordenação olho-mão rápida, perfeitamente adequada para registrar eventos à medida que se interrompiam. [2] Ele nunca ficou sem um caderno de esboços que preenchia com desenhos de homens trabalhando, crianças brincando, velhos nos bancos e tudo o mais que chamou sua atenção. Esses esboços eram freqüentemente executados a lápis ou crayon conte e mais tarde transferidos para caneta e tinta com lavagem em preparação para impressão, embora ele se gabasse de que seus desenhos de & quotstreet & quot raramente precisavam ser retrabalhados depois de renderizados. As pinceladas de seu lápis eram controladas e certas, ao mesmo tempo em que eram enérgicas e rápidas. Mostrando uma habilidade única, a precisão e a confiança de Luks se traduziram facilmente em sucesso no meio aquarela, onde erros e reconsiderações não são tão prontamente cobertos como poderiam ser em óleos.

Algumas aquarelas e ilustrações originais sobrevivem da primeira designação de Luks no exterior, quando ele foi enviado a Cuba em 1895 para cobrir a rebelião. [3] A designação foi interrompida quando ele foi demitido por seu empregador, o Evening Bulletin (Filadélfia), por fazendo a maioria de seus desenhos após relatos orais ouvidos no porto seguro de um saloon, em vez de observações de campo em primeira mão, mais arriscadas, porém mais precisas.

Ao retornar aos Estados Unidos em 1896, Luks mudou-se para a cidade de Nova York, junto com os outros de seu grupo da Filadélfia. Uma vez lá, ele foi contratado para desenhar uma história em quadrinhos para o New York World em imitação de outra tirinha, o & quotYellow Kid, & quot originada por Richard Outcault para um jornal rival, o World. O herói era um menino de rua precoce que vagava pelo Hogan's Alley, um bairro do interior da cidade, com uma camisola amarela. Luks escreveu o enredo e desenhou o cartoon com tinta e cores.

Nessa época, Luks estava se sustentando por meio do trabalho no jornal, embora não fosse em tempo integral. Robert Henri, que havia sido o líder do grupo na Filadélfia, estava entre outros em Nova York para encorajar Luks a se dedicar à pintura a óleo. Embora Luks nunca tenha estudado com Henri, que era um professor reconhecido e carismático, ele foi um dos Philadelphia Five originais a seguir mais de perto a metodologia de Henri ao longo de sua carreira artística. Em parte, isso acontecia porque os dois homens compartilhavam um temperamento apaixonado e também um interesse pela humanidade. Henri ensinou seus alunos a & quot [w] ork com grande velocidade. Tenha suas energias alerta, altas e ativas. Termine o mais rápido possível. Em um minuto, se você puder. & Quot [4] Ele ainda aconselhou os artistas a pintar temas contemporâneos perto de casa, em vez de buscar temas exóticos ou elevados como era a preferência das academias tradicionais. Essas foram duas lições que Luks já havia aprendido com seu trabalho no jornal, como ele mesmo observou: & quot [D] o trabalho de jornal dá a um artista uma experiência ilimitada, ensina-lhe a vida, o traz para fora. & Quot

Talvez o maior aquarelista americano conhecido, Winslow Homer (1836 - 1921) também começou como ilustrador. Trinta anos mais velho de Luks, Homer era, como Luks, sem formação formal em arte e desenvolveu seu estilo realista através da observação cuidadosa da vida. Homer começou a trabalhar seriamente com aquarelas por volta dos trinta e poucos anos e se estabeleceu no Maine, onde narrou o modo de vida difícil entre os pescadores e suas famílias. Ele desenvolveu uma abordagem direta com o médium, usando lavagens sobre as quais ele poderia construir mais detalhes. Como Luks era "notoriamente auto-apreciativo", como um crítico anônimo o descreveu em Town and Country (1923), é impossível dizer se o trabalho de outros artistas, como Homer, pode ter influenciado seu estilo. No entanto, as comparações podem ser feitas tanto na técnica quanto no assunto escolhido por Homer e Luks. Embora cada um apresentasse cenas da existência humana com grande potencial para o sentimentalismo, ambos evitaram essa armadilha.

Os primeiros exemplos de Luks como aquarelista incluem Soda Water Man (pg. No. 20) e Ice Wagon (pg. No. 17), que são disciplinas clássicas da escola & quotAsh Can & quot. Eles são reproduzidos na paleta sombria usada pelo artista durante sua primeira década na cidade de Nova York, quando ele pintava os trabalhadores pobres do Lower East Side de Manhattan. Figuras e edifícios emergem de tons de marrom e preto / cinza com apenas toques de cor para aliviar a escuridão geral. Em Soda Water Man, a porta amarela brilhante na margem esquerda cria um poço de luz acolhedor para o entregador e a caixa verde brilhante que ele carrega - o único outro ponto de cor na peça.

Também deste período está o humorístico One-Armed Lunch (pág. Nº 23) que mostra uma senhora idosa com um chapéu de penas cómicas, equilibrando uma bandeja de comida numa das mãos e uma mala e sobretudo na outra. Em vez de ser patético, o personagem de Luks exala uma determinação admirável e feroz, evidência da boa natureza do artista e interesse nas melhores qualidades da natureza humana.

Trabalhos posteriores mostram que Luks continuou a se interessar por este assunto ao longo de sua vida artística. A Clínica (pág. Nº 18) e o Velho (pág. Nº 22) foram executados na sala de espera da enfermaria de seu irmão Will, o Dispensário do Norte, um edifício triangular encaixado na esquina de Waverly Place e Grove Street em Greenwich Vila. [5] O irmão de Luks e sua família moravam no terceiro andar do dispensário e George costumava ficar com eles quando passava uma noite na cidade. O retrato do velho teria sido executado com pigmentos feitos de remédios à mão na clínica, misturados com água e colocados no papel com cotonetes. Esta é a evidência da espontaneidade, engenhosidade e impulso inato do artista para renderizar imagens. (Na verdade, Luks certa vez afirmou que poderia pintar com um cordão de sapato mergulhado em piche e banha.) O retrato resultante é extremamente expressivo, as feições do velho mostrando tanto o tédio de sua espera quanto a preocupação causada pela doença.

Luks desistiu da ilustração de jornal porque sua reputação como pintor gerou mais vendas e, portanto, mais suporte financeiro. Sua participação na famosa exposição & quotThe Eight & quot na MacBeth Gallery em 1908 foi seguida por uma exposição individual na mesma galeria em 1910. Não querendo entrar em conflito com sua exposição individual, Luks optou por não participar da primeira Independent Show organizado por John Sloan e outros no mesmo ano. Ele, no entanto, participou do Armory Show em 1913, apesar de ter seu primeiro show solo com C. W. Kraushaar, seu novo concessionário, abrindo em seus calcanhares.

O Armory Show, como a Exposição Internacional de Arte Moderna foi apelidada, tinha o objetivo de mostrar estilos de arte "progressivos" para o que os organizadores consideravam um público conservador da arte americana. Com a intenção de colocar os artistas americanos em um contexto internacional, em vez disso, fez com que fossem ofuscados pelas ousadas realizações de seus colegas europeus, especialmente os pós-impressionistas, fauves e cubistas. Os críticos notaram que a arte americana nunca mais seria a mesma e, de fato, parecia que não seria. O trabalho do pincel pontilhista dos pós-impressionistas combinado com a cor acentuada dos fauves foram influências particulares em Luks e outros. Obras de Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Henri Matisse e Andre Derain explodiram com uma liberdade de conceito e execução que fez o & quotRebels on 8th Street & quot parecer conservador.

Mais ou menos na mesma época, Luks mudou-se com sua segunda esposa, Emma Louise Noble, [6] de um apartamento em Greenwich Village para uma grande casa / estúdio em High Bridge Park. Localizado na esquina de Gamble Place e Edgecombe Road, foi construído como um estúdio e residência combinados. O estúdio de 23 x 16 pés tinha grandes janelas voltadas para o norte e vista para o High Bridge Park. James Huneker, um escritor e crítico contemporâneo que apelidou os artistas dos Oito de "devotos do feio", observou que, com a plenitude de modelos agradáveis, "bebês, cabras, enfermeiras, mocassins, policiais, pedestres preguiçosos, meninos barulhentos, lindas garotinhas com aros, & quot Luks estava se tornando um & quotplein- [ar] artista. & quot [7]

Ao longo de sua carreira, Luks deixou o assunto guiá-lo na técnica. Ou seja, mulheres mendigas eram adequadamente desenhadas com pinceladas largas e cores sombrias, enquanto babás e seus pupilos eram representados em pinceladas pontilhistas curtas e cores brilhantes. Além disso, embora Luks nunca tenha nomeado outro mestre além de Franz Hals, cujo trabalho ele encontrou nas primeiras viagens à Europa, ele era suscetível à influência e sugestões de muitos artistas ao seu redor. Às vezes inseguro em seu próprio talento, um perigo frequentemente encontrado por aqueles imbuídos de uma facilidade e flexibilidade naturais, Luks trabalhava e retrabalhava as peças depois de pedir a opinião de um visitante. Na mesma linha, ele adotaria o estilo de um artista tão inadvertidamente quanto alguns adotam um sotaque quando ouvem dialetos distantes de casa.

Com as imagens de Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh e outros frescas em sua mente e o assunto da classe média em lazer agora sua tarifa diária, a pincelada de Luks tornou-se mais staccato e sua paleta iluminada. Em muitas aquarelas dos Teens, as aquarelas de cores vivas com padrão de mosaico dos parques e passeios da cidade pintados por Maurice Prendergast parecem influenciar Luks. Prendergast, que também era membro dos Oito, embora não fosse um proponente da Escola Ash Can, absorveu as técnicas dos modernistas europeus no início e foi um aquarelista prolífico. A qualidade plana e decorativa de suas peças refletia o círculo simbolista francês dos nabis, enquanto a cor e a pincelada relacionavam-se aos fauves e pós-impressionistas. De todos os artistas com os quais Luks se associou, Prendergast foi o mais seriamente envolvido com aquarela.

A influência de Prendergast em Luks, e dos europeus, é especialmente vista em River Boats (pág. Nº 27). O assunto, um passeio de domingo à tarde ao longo do rio, e a técnica, pequenas manchas de cores vivas que deixam transparecer o branco do papel, revelam-no. Também como Prendergast, Luks esboçou a composição primeiro a lápis, anotando rapidamente suas impressões gerais. Depois de aplicar as aquarelas, Luks não seguiu completamente os contornos do lápis. Uma técnica de pincel staccato mais exagerada é aparente em High Bridge Park (pág. Nº 24). Aqui, o uso dominante de amarelo e verde cria formas planas e decorativas semelhantes ao trabalho dos Nabis, cujo estilo reconhecia a bidimensionalidade da superfície da pintura e rejeitava tentativas ilusórias de simular a tridimensionalidade do mundo real. As figuras são generalizadas e congeladas em contraste com o trabalho do pincel animado do gramado e da folhagem que gira em torno delas.

Jogando Soldados (pg. Nº 25) e Fofoca (pg. Nº 26) são duas fotos em que Luks é visto experimentando pastéis, que enriquecem a textura e funcionam para saturar a cor do meio aquoso. Ele exibiu tons pastéis apenas uma vez na vida, em uma exposição na Galeria Kraushaar em 1916. Em Playing Soldiers, a aguarela azul brilhante cria um clima geral intenso, enquanto os pastéis são usados ​​para definir a imagem. A fofoca mostra o interesse contínuo de Luks por humor e anedotas.

Luks começou a expor no New York Water Color Club Annual em 1913 e continuou a fazê-lo até 1917. Em 1916, ele ganhou o prêmio Hudnut concedido pelo Club for On the Marne (paradeiro desconhecido). Este foi o primeiro prêmio que recebeu em qualquer meio, um sinal importante da estatura de suas aquarelas. Em 1917, ele foi homenageado com uma exposição individual no Museu de Newark e seus óleos continuaram a ganhar prêmios, incluindo a Medalha de Ouro do Templo da Academia de Belas Artes da Pensilvânia para Houston Street.

Em 1919, Luks foi pescar na província canadense de Nova Scotia. Ele pode ter sido convidado por um colega do The Eight, Ernest Lawson, que é conhecido por ter estado lá na mesma época. O estilo impressionista de Lawson pode até ter influenciado Luks. Em qualquer caso, Luks lançou seu estilo aquarela nos riachos e florestas da Nova Escócia e produziu um notável corpo de trabalho que exibiu com grande aclamação da crítica em Kraushaar no ano seguinte. Um crítico notou que ainda havia & quotsurprises na manga [do artista] & quot [8] e não se deve pensar que seu melhor trabalho ficou para trás em suas pinturas mais conhecidas de Ash Can. Algumas dessas aquarelas foram posteriormente transformadas em óleos, mas não há dúvida de que as obras no papel são peças acabadas, e não esboços preparatórios.

Fisherman and Boulders (pg. Nº 37) é uma peça dramática com a maior parte da composição ocupada por uma magnífica pedra colorida em azul, vermelho e preto. O homem confrontado com a natureza é observado na figura diminuta de um pescador empoleirado no aterro rochoso à esquerda. Grandes arabescos de água giram em torno das rochas em The Screecher, Lake Rossignol, Nova Scotia (pág. Nº 32). Executado com pinceladas poderosamente confiantes em todos os tons de azul e verde e acentuados em vermelho ou roxo, a água domina muitas das cenas da Nova Escócia. Luks gostava da noção de ser uma personalidade robusta, tendo amado o ar livre desde sua infância na Pensilvânia rural.

John Marin (1870 - 1953) foi um pintor e aquarelista do século XX que, embora um pouco mais jovem, foi contemporâneo de Luks e membro do círculo de Stieglitz. Alguns dos pintores neste grupo - Marin, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley e outros - eram proponentes da abstração ao invés do realismo e, portanto, às vezes eram vistos como um campo oposto a Luks e seu círculo. As cenas náuticas de Marin no Maine e Long Island Sound eram altamente estilizadas na estética modernista, mas ainda evocavam as imagens e sons da água. Em suas fotos da Nova Escócia, Luks chegou mais perto do tipo de abstração de Marin, permitindo que formas e padrões geométricos estilizados entrassem em suas composições. Outra semelhança com o trabalho de Marin foi permitir que o branco do papel aparecesse, em vez de lavar a folha inteira com a cor. As pinceladas eram aplicadas de forma distinta, sem tocar uma na outra, impedindo assim as cores de sangrar. A estratificação foi obtida permitindo que a primeira cor secasse antes de adicionar outra por cima, criando áreas opacas de cor densa.

Charles Burchfield (1893 - 1967) foi outro aquarelista cujas evocações da natureza caminharam na linha entre a abstração simbolista e o realismo. O poder do pincel de Burchfield é semelhante ao de Luks e ambos eram especialistas em coloração.

Em 1925, Luks voltou para a casa de sua infância em Pottsville, Pensilvânia, para documentar os mineiros de carvão e seus arredores. Ele montou um estúdio durante o verão daquele ano e foi tratado como uma celebridade que voltou. Embora Luks tenha produzido muitos trabalhos em outras mídias durante sua visita a Pottsville, incluindo um mural sobre a história do antracito encomendado para o Necho Allen Hotel (Allen foi o descobridor do potencial do antracito como combustível), suas aquarelas novamente constituem um importante corpo de trabalhar.

Para Luks, nessa época, os mineiros e suas famílias forneceram a mesma inspiração que as mulheres mendigas e vendedores ambulantes tinham quase duas décadas antes nas ruas de Nova York. Mais uma vez, ele abordou seus temas sem piedade ou sentimentalismo e saiu com imagens poderosas e realistas. Seus pais ajudaram os mineiros e mostraram-se solidários com a luta por melhores condições de trabalho. Luks, agora com seus cinquenta e poucos anos, deve ter sentido um verdadeiro retorno ao lar ao revisitar as pessoas que seus pais haviam arriscado suas vidas para ajudar. A cidade provavelmente não mudou muito nos trinta anos de separação. Quebra-carvão, bancos de colmo e casas de empresas ainda dominavam a paisagem rural.

Filha das Minas (pág. Nº 39) mostra uma mulher em sua cozinha afundada em uma cadeira com uma das mãos sobre a tigela de comida que estava preparando. Seu olhar cansado e sonâmbulo encontra o do espectador e nos vemos compartilhando o imenso fardo do cotidiano dessa mulher. Aqui, Luks voltou à sua técnica anterior e mais tradicional da aquarela de aplicar tons escuros de cor e trazer à tona a imagem aplicando cores mais claras por cima.

Outras imagens têm um sentido espiritual para eles, especialmente Village of St. Clair (pg. No. 40), onde a cruz de ouro montada no topo da torre da igreja se destaca como um farol contra o rico azul escuro, preto e cinza da paisagem. Como as estruturas de Burchfield, a igreja de Luks está imbuída de uma personalidade quase humana, pois olha para a pequena cabana e as figuras à esquerda. A luz do sol se derrama sobre esta pequena habitação e as figuras femininas de mãe, filha e neta que evocam o círculo sem fim das idades do homem. À distância, surge a forma escura de um quebra-carvão que controla suas vidas mortais.

Cenas de Pottsville demonstram a habilidade de Luks como colorista e novamente revelam a influência fauvista. A cor é mais sentida do que observada nas casas em ruínas de Miners 'Shacks, Pottsville (pág. Nº 42). Suas formas empoleiram-se instáveis ​​ao longo da encosta que Luks animou com pinceladas ondulantes. Estas não são casas seguras e estáveis, mas sim abrigos temporários, refletindo a existência precária de seus ocupantes, cujas formas sombrias são apenas incidentais à composição de Luks. As casas à esquerda estão na sombra, enquanto as da direita são capturadas por um raio de sol que torna suas bordas vermelhas e amarelas.

O capítulo final e mais prolífico da carreira de Luks como aquarelaista aconteceu nas colinas de Nova York, a oeste de Berkshires, perto da cidade de Old Chatham. Luks comprou uma casa de fazenda lá no final dos anos 1920, junto com vinte e seis acres de terra. Aqui, como nas pinturas da Nova Escócia, seus poderes como colorista e desenhista são vividamente evidentes.

My House, Berkshire Hills (pg. No. 52), cujo título mostra a predileção de Luks por seu retiro de verão, é uma peça brilhante. A casa branca é delineada em vermelho, amarelo e azul para diferenciá-la da cor vibrante dos campos e montanhas circundantes. A cor expressionista e as pinceladas pós-impressionistas são fortes evocações da habilidade constante de Luks com o meio. A dramática assinatura vermelha, uma cor muito usada por Luks ao assinar suas peças, impressiona ainda mais a presença do artista na obra. Uma grande sensação de prazer emana da peça, assim como do próprio Luks, que se autodenominava um amante da vida, a cadeira de balanço verde na varanda lateral da casa provavelmente foi muito usada. Como observou um crítico, & quotEstas são notas tranquilas e brilhantes de um realista bem-humorado que apreciou novamente as paisagens ao pintá-las. & Quot [9]

The Old Gristmill, The Berkshires (pg. Nº 46) e Railroad Crossing, The Berkshires (pg. Nº 47) são outros exemplos desse período que mostram a vida na América rural como tranquila e saudável.

Woman in the Field (pg. Nº 48), como a antiga Village of St. Clair, tem uma qualidade espiritual sutil. A figura curvada de uma mulher idosa serve para conectar as áreas terrenas e celestiais da peça, que estão claramente divididas ao longo da linha do horizonte por cores. O campo é uma profusão de malva, vermelho, azul, verde e amarelo, enquanto o céu, também multicolorido, é representado em tons contrastantes de azul, verde e roxo. A igreja à esquerda da composição perscruta a elevação da colina e projeta sua torre no céu enquanto a figura parece estar presa entre os dois planos da terra e do céu.

Luks não resistiu a pintar os residentes dessa comunidade do alto do estado de Nova York, muitos dos quais eram individualistas rudes com personagens tão extravagantes quanto os seus. A Sra. Gamely tinha 110 anos quando Luks pintou seu retrato a óleo e ela também pode ter sido modelo para Mulher e Turquia (pág. Nº 45). Esta cena da cozinha interna mostra uma mulher sentada determinada com os pés firmemente plantados em um esforço para se proteger contra a tarefa formidável de depenar o pássaro. É uma peça simples e divertida, que lembra as cenas do gênero de Franz Hals.

Luks exibia ativamente suas aquarelas no final dos anos 1920 e início dos anos 30. Em 1926, ano em que ganhou pela segunda vez a Medalha Logan do Chicago Art Institute, expôs no International Watercolor Show da mesma instituição. Em 1929, 1931 e 1932, ele expôs na exposição anual de aquarela da Academia de Belas Artes da Pensilvânia.

Luks morreu com a mesma força com que viveu. Em 29 de outubro de 1933, ele foi encontrado por um patrulheiro na madrugada cinzenta de uma manhã de Nova York, caído na porta de um pub da Sexta Avenida. Os jornais falavam de um ataque cardíaco sofrido durante uma caminhada matinal, mas a verdade é que ele morreu devido aos ferimentos sofridos em uma briga.

Apesar da amplitude de sua atividade como pintor de aquarela, esse aspecto da vida do artista costuma ser esquecido. Não houve menção às aquarelas na monografia de Elisabeth Cary sobre o artista, publicada pelo Whitney Museum of American Art em 1930. A tese de Ralph Clayes Talcott, The Watercolors of George Luks, escrita para a Pennsylvania State University em 1970, foi a primeira geral avaliação do trabalho de Luks neste meio.

Um sinal da importância de Luks na aquarela é sua inclusão, junto com quatro outros grandes artistas americanos e expoentes do meio, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, John Marin e Charles Burchfield, em uma exposição coletiva na Galeria Marie Sterner em 1922. A exposição cruzou linhas estilísticas para se concentrar no meio como o tema unificador. Os artistas parecem ter sido escolhidos para representar suas gerações: Homer havia morrido doze anos antes, Sargent estava no final dos cinquenta anos, Luks no final dos quarenta, Marin nos quarenta e o jovem Burchfield apenas nos vinte.

Um ano após a morte de Luks, a Vose Gallery de Boston montou uma exposição de suas aquarelas. Em 1942, Luks foi representado na exposição do Whitney Museum, History of American Watercolor Painting. Mas há mais casos em que seu nome é excluído do que incluído nas discussões sobre pintura em aquarela. É importante que este corpo de trabalho em aquarela seja agora reconhecido e que outra faceta de um importante artista americano seja plenamente revelada.

Judith Hansen O'Toole agosto de 1994

NOTAS 1. Para uma discussão concisa da pintura em aquarela americana, consulte Larry Curry, Oito American Masters of Watercolor, Museu de Arte do Condado de Los Angeles e Frederick A. Praeger, 1968. Ver também Donelson F. Hoopes, American Watercolor Painting, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1977 e Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., American Master Drawings and Watercolors: A History of Works on Paper from Colonial Times to the Present, Harper & amp Row, Nova York, 1976. 2. Mãe e pai de Luks ajudou os Molly Maquires, uma organização clandestina irlandesa que trabalhava para melhorar as condições de trabalho e de vida dos mineiros de carvão. O cavalo branco e a charrete do Dr. Luks o identificariam como um amigo, para que os Mollies não o atacassem em suas visitas noturnas. Stanley Cuba, & quotGeorge Luks (1866 - 1933), & quot George Luks: An American Artist, Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes University, 1987. 3. Quando a família morava em Vineland, Nova Jersey, Luks trabalhava como balconista em uma drogaria local. Quando o proprietário estava fora, o jovem George registrou os clientes desenhando rapidamente seus retratos em papel de embrulho para que o proprietário soubesse quem tinha estado lá. 4. Luks escreveu a Everett Shinn que, & quotMetade meus esboços foram feitos por funcionários. Consequentemente . . . Tenho de retirá-los clandestinamente para garantir que cheguem em segurança. ” 6, não. 2, abril de 1966, p. 9. Um total de trinta ilustrações de Luks foram publicadas no Philadelphia Evening Bulletin entre 15 de janeiro e 28 de março de 1896. Os desenhos demoraram de dez a quinze dias para chegar à Filadélfia vindos de Havana. Cuba, op. cit. Uma aquarela existente é Havana, Cuba, 1896, na coleção do Museu do Brooklyn. 5. Robert Henri, The Art Spirit, Filadélfia, J. B. Lippincott Company, 1923, p. 26. 6. George's older brother Will married George's fiance, Anabelle Delanoy, after meeting her while on summer vacation in New York from medical studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The marriage forced Will to leave medical school and he instead took a position at the Dispensary where in 1905 he became superintendent, a post he kept until his retirement in 1939. Despite this, George continued a strong relationship with his brother and sister-in-law and treated their children as his own. George married on the rebound but left his wife, Lois, in 1902 when she was pregnant with their son. Kent Crane was George's only child but did not have contact with his father. 7. Luks married Emma Louise Noble around 1905. They were divorced sometime in the mid-1920s. Luks married again around 1927. His third wife, Mercedes Carbonnel, was much younger than Luks and they had a stormy relationship. They were separated in 1930 but Mercedes returned to Luks just before his death in 1933. 8. James Huneker, Bedouins , New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920, p. 107. 9. Unattributed review, New York Evening Post , October 23, 1923. 10. Unattributed review of an exhibition at the Rehn Gallery, Art News , December 1957, p. 11.

Since 1993, Judith Hansen O'Toole has been director/CEO of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where her expertise in nineteenth-and twentieth-century American art is reflected in the museum's collections and exhibitions. She was director of the Sordoni Art Gallery and an associate professor at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, from 1982 - 1993. She has organized exhibitions on artists and artist groups including the early twentieth century artists George Luks and Carl Sprinchorn, American still-life painting, the Ash Can School and the Hudson River School. She is widely consulted as the authority on works by Severin Roesen and Luks.

To read other articles and essays reprinted in Resource Library that are written by Judith Hansen O'Toole, please click here.

Resource Library editor's note

The above text was reprinted in Resource Library on November 24, 2008, with permission of the author and the Canton Museum of Art, which was granted to TFAO on April 8, 2008. Ms. O'Toole's catalogue essay pertains to a special exhibition, George Luks: Expressionist Master of Color - The Watercolors Rediscovered , that was on view at the Canton Museum of Art, Canton, Ohio (November 25, 1994 - January 29, 1995), the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, Pennsylvania (February 11, 1995 - April 9, 1995) and the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio (May 7, 1995 - June 18, 1995). The exhibition's catalogue is titled "George Luks: Expressionist Master of Color: the Watercolors Rediscovered." Published by Canton Museum of Art, 1994. ISBN 0964407108, 9780964407107. 64 pages

An adaptation of this text was also published in the June - July 1995 issue of American Art Review .

Resource Library wishes to extend appreciation to Robb Hyde of Canton Museum of Art and Shana Herb Johannessen for their help concerning permissions for reprinting the above text.

Resource Library readers may also enjoy:

Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc. (TFAO) neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History .

Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the Canton Museum of Art in Resource Library

Search Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.

Copyright 2008 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc. , an Arizona nonprofit corporation. Todos os direitos reservados.


Houston Street


Notes:
The main source for this provenance is a letter to G. Gordon Hertslet from Newhouse Galleries dated June 15, 1970 [SLAM document files]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted.

[1] Dr. Thomas L. Bennett was listed as the lender of this painting to a 1923 exhibition ["Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings by George Luks." New York, NY: C. W. Kraushaar Art Galleries, January 8-27, 1923, cat. não. 5]. Dr. Bennett is believed to be the original owner of the painting, based on a September 24, 1927 letter from George Luks referenced in correspondence from Newhouse Galleries. It seems that Newhouse Galleries acquired the painting from Dr. Bennett, as Newhouse Galleries correspondence goes on to state that the letter from Luks was given to Mr. Platt when he purchased the painting [SLAM document files].

[2] A 1931 article describes the inclusion of this work in an exhibition of the collection of Newhouse Gallery [Osburn, Maurine. "Newhouse Collection Now on Exhibit at Highland Park," "Dallas Morning News," 1 February 1931]. Additionally, a 1934 article includes an illustration of the painting courtesy of Newhouse Galleries, and Erich-Newhouse Incorporated is listed as the lender in a 1934 exhibition [Benson, E. M. "The American Scene," The American Magazine of Art (XXV:2) 1934, p. 55 "The Work of George Benjamin Luks." Newark, NJ: The Newark Museum, October 30, 1934 - January 6, 1935, cat. não. 34]. The 1970 letter from Newhouse Galleries to Mr. Hertslet clearly states that the painting was sold by Newhouse Galleries to C. H. Platt in 1936 [SLAM document files].

[3] Both the Museum's accession record and a completed appraisal form indicate that the Hertslets purchased the painting from Newhouse Galleries in 1953 [SLAM document files].

[4] Minutes of the Acquisitions Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, July 20, 1972.


George Benjamin Luks

George Luks was born in Williamsport, Pa., on Aug. 13, 1867. About 1884 he entered the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts but soon made his way to Europe, where he remained for several years. His chronology and many details of his life remain obscure because of the extravagant claims he made about exploits which seem to have been wholly fictitious. At Düsseldorf he acquired a taste for somber colors. He may have worked in London and Paris as well. He admired Rembrandt and Frans Hals.

On his return to Philadelphia in the early 1890s, Luks supported himself precariously by all kinds of commercial jobs—by painting signs, circus and band wagons, campaign portraits, and houses and floors. Frequent references to activities as a professional prizefighter (under a variety of picturesque names) do not seem to be founded on fact. Like Glackens, Sloan, and Shinn, he was employed as a newspaper artist, and he was sent by the Bulletin to cover the Spanish-American War in 1895. His illustrations were lively and exciting but apparently largely imaginary, as was the story that he had been captured, sentenced to death, and deported. He returned, penniless, to New York, where he was employed by the World. He was one of the earliest comic strip artists and continued R. F. Outcault's "The Yellow Kid," created in 1895, when Outcault moved to another paper. For 15 years most of his work was in black and white it was only in 1898 that Luks started painting. He was married three times.

Luks was fascinated with the characters and environment of the Lower East Side and consciously attempted to portray these with the explicitness and vitality of Hals. Beggars, drunks, actors, street urchins, prizefighters, the whole range of urban activity, are presented with sharp observation and gusto. Street scenes and landscapes are rarer subjects.

The rejection of one of Luks's paintings from the 1907 exhibition of the National Academy of Design was one of the causes for the formation and exhibition of "The Eight" in 1908. Luks's work in this show had a kind of raw strength and even brutality which offended academic patrons and critics but brought him into attention. From this time on his work was increasingly exhibited, received a number of prizes, and was acquired by the more daring contemporary collectors. For a time, he taught at the Art Students League.

Luks was a radical only in subject matter, not in style or technique. He was involved in the formation of the 1913 Armory Show, in which he was well represented. However, he was unable to understand or accept the genuinely radical European art, which was shown in America for the first time, and resigned from the society which had formed the show.

Luks, always lusty and belligerent, was apparently killed as the result of a tavern fight on Oct. 29, 1933, dying in New York on the streets which he had immortalized on many canvasses.


George Luks - History

Liberty Ships built by the United States Maritime Commission in World War II

"Liberty ship" was the name given to the EC2 type ship designed for "Emergency" construction by the United States Maritime Commission in World War II. Liberty ships were nicknamed "ugly ducklings" by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The first of the 2,711 Liberty ships was the SS Patrick Henry , launched on Sept. 27, 1941, and built to a standardized, mass produced design. (2,710 ships were completed, as one burned at the dock.) The 250,000 parts were pre-fabricated throughout the country in 250-ton sections and welded together in about 70 days. One Liberty ship, the SS Robert E. Peary was built in four and a half days. A Liberty cost under $2,000,000.

The Liberty was 441 feet long and 56 feet wide. Her three-cylinder, reciprocating steam engine, fed by two oil-burning boilers produced 2,500 hp and a speed of 11 knots. Her 5 holds could carry over 9,000 tons of cargo, plus airplanes, tanks, and locomotives lashed to its deck. A Liberty could carry 2,840 jeeps, 440 tanks, or 230 million rounds of rifle ammunition.

Liberty ships were named after prominent (deceased) Americans, starting with Patrick Henry and the signers of the Declaration of Independence. 18 that were named for outstanding African-Americans.

Any group which raised $2 million dollars in War Bonds could suggest a name for a Liberty ship, thus, one is named for the founder of the 4-H movement in Kansas, the first Ukrainian immigrant to America, an organizer for the International Ladies Garment Union, and the woman who suggested the poppy as a symbol of American soldiers who died in World War I. The Francis J. O'Gara was named after a mariner who was presumed dead, but who in fact, was a Prisoner of War. He was the only person to visit a Liberty ship named in his honor.


Years later, Ira Glackens, son of Luks' Ashcan crony and barstool buddy William Glackens, revealed a much different version of the death on Swing Street.

In a 1957 biography of his father, Glackens said the mouthy artist was knocked cold in a barroom brawl. The illegal joint could hardly report a drunken row, so Luks — dead or nearly so — probably was carried to the spot where cops found him.

The lethal bar fight anecdote has been repeated as gospel in museum catalogs and art history books, though further details are lacking.

Whether it's true or not, Luks would love his epitaph: The million-dollar artist who went down swinging in a speakeasy scrap.


George Luks

Born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in 1866, George Luks attended the school of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia in 1884. He spent the following ten years in Düsseldorf, Paris, and London, and may have studied in various art academies in these cities. Upon his return to the United States, Luks worked for the art department of the Philadelphia Press in 1894 and the following year traveled to Cuba as an artist-correspondent for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. In 1896 he joined the staff of The New York World as an illustrator and cartoonist.

While at The World, Luks renewed an earlier friendship with William Glackens and Everett Shinn. Both illustrators were also committed to painting, and Glackens encouraged Luks to experiment with the medium. By 1904 Luks was accomplished enough to exhibit with his friends at the National Arts Club in New York. Four years later he joined seven other artists under the leadership of Robert Henri in forming a group that rebelled against the academic art establishment. Known as The Eight, an exhibition of their work became a progressive force in American art, revitalizing realist painting. Throughout his career, Luks sought out working class subjects for his art. He exhibited paintings and drawings of urban life and city dwellers in the Armory Show in 1913, which showcased modern art.

Luks continued to paint and exhibit and taught for several years at the Art Students League in New York. He founded his own school and painted alongside his students until his death in 1933.

[This is an excerpt from the interactive companion to the videodisc American Art from the National Gallery of Art.]


Life After &aposStar Wars&apos

In 2008, Lucas released the latest installment of his Indiana Jones Series. He served as one of its writers and as a producer while Spielberg once again acted as director. Ford returned as the famed adventuring archaeologist in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and was joined by Cate Blanchett and Shia LaBeouf on this new challenge. The film proved one of the summer&aposs biggest hits.

&aposRed Tails&apos

Lucas served as the producer of a different type of action film in early 2012. Working for years, he was able to help bring the story of the famed African-American pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen to the big screen in Red Tails. This World War II drama starred Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Nate Parker and David Oyelowo.

Red Tails may prove to be one of Lucas&aposs final epics, excluding a possible new Indiana Jones film. He announced that he was retiring from big blockbusters to explore smaller, more personal stories on the screen around this time. To that end, Lucas decided to sell his company, Lucasfilm, to the Walt Disney Company in October 2012. He received about 40 million shares of Disney stock as part of the deal. In return, Disney got the rights to the very lucrative Guerra das Estrelas franchise, which the company continued with the release of the record-breaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December 2015.

The following year, Lucasfilm produced the first in its anthology series: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which starred Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn and Diego Luna. In 2017, Lucas&apos friend and old collaborator, Ron Howard, was tapped to direct the subsequent film, Solo: A Star Wars Story, which premiered in May 2018.


Ashcan School Artworks

Willie Gee, an African-American boy of a tender age, is seated with an apple in hand and wearing rumpled clothing. The artist noted in his daybooks that Gee was the son of a woman who had been a slave in Virginia and had recently moved north. The nondescript, brushy background of browns and grays offers little commentary or details as to who Gee actually is and in its simplicity renders the young boy as quite humble. Henri's fluid brushwork, most noticeable on Gee's coat sleeve and white collar, is there to suggest the activity and movement one usually associates with young children. Traditionally the patrons of child portraiture were moneyed individuals who sought to celebrate their notable lineage or remember deceased children. There was no wealthy patron in this case, and Willie Gee was just a neighborhood child of the working class who appealed to the artist. Henri and his followers rarely ventured into New York's African-American neighborhoods, concentrating instead on the immigrant inhabitants of Lower Manhattan. Here, Henri breaks from the dominant stereotypes of African Americans then found in visual culture.

Oil on canvas - Newark Museum of Art, Newark, NJ

At Mouquin's (1905)

At Mouquin's remains Glackens' most celebrated and grand painting. In the foreground, the fashionable outerwear slung over the back of a chair leads our eye into the center of the painting where Glackens posed friends as elegant New Yorkers out on the town. The work's sophistication and psychological content in the woman's countenance prompted critics to compare Glackens to Édouard Manet. The clever use of mirrors to replicate and expand the special plane call to mind Manet's masterwork The Bar at the Folies Bergere (1881-82). While a young man in Paris, Glackens followed Henri's direction to seek out works by Manet. Here, Glackens turns his attention to new social spaces, such as this fancy restaurant, and new social relationships which reveal interior states (this was the era of Freud's initial publications on human psychology). We glance upon the woman's face, which is turned away from her jubilant partner and seems melancholy, if not weary, as she gazes off the canvas. As hers is the most forward visage in the composition, we connect most with this woman and her seeming isolation.

Oil on canvas - Art Institute of Chicago

Hester Street (1905)

In 1904, after a twenty-year extended sojourn away from his native country, famed novelist and essayist Henry James returned to his dramatically changed birthplace where he went and what he observed culminated in his collection of essays The American Scene (1907). Appalled by the arriving European masses, James was frightened that the "hodgepodge" of racial characteristics they brought to the United States would dilute the true meaning of being an American. James wholehearted supported the primacy of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, and viewed the Jews, the Italians, and the Irish as racial others and outsiders.

In contrast to James, Luks delighted in this culturally diverse urban sprawl jam packed with humanity, found on New York's Lower East Side. By 1905, the downtown streets were crowded with substandard tenements and were home to the Eastern-European Jews who had arrived on these shores by the hundreds of thousands. Luks, a rough and tough character himself, wholly embraced the busy chaos of this spectacle. Luks's method was to make quick sketches onsite, which he would use as the basis of his painting. The artist applied paint with a fluid, rapid brush in order to capture the energy of the scene. Here, Luks brings us into the swell of the crowds, rather than maintain a distance, which allows viewers to viscerally experience the mass of humanity that populated the poor neighborhoods of New York. Further, while Luks isolates ethnic and racial types within this canvas (note the bearded Jewish men at left with side locks), he does not give into cheap ethnic stereotypes which were so common at the time. The modernity and newness of the image comes through in its innovative subject matter (most artists turned away from the immigrant classes as subjects) and the air of excitement Luks conveys.

Oil on canvas - The Brooklyn Museum of Art

Forty-Two Kids (1907)

Forty-two boys or "kids" swim in the dirty waters of New York City's East River to escape the stifling heat of ill-ventilated tenement apartments. Under the dark cover of night at the city's edge, the boys use a modified dog paddle as their stroke to push floating garbage out of their way. George Bellows's brushy, rough application of oil paint marked the boys' social class onto their bodies, which are nude and scrawny. The term "kid" was popularized by the cartoon Hogan's Alley, whose protagonist was "The Yellow Kid," a slum-dwelling hooligan.

Bellows's depiction of city boys diving off splintered piers and reveling in their freedom, coupled with his bravura, painterly style appalled several New York art critics. One caustically appraised Bellows's canvas, asserting that "most of the boys look more like maggots than humans." While many similarly derisive words denigrated poor immigrants, the boys themselves are clearly enjoying their escape from society's scrutiny. Bellows's work typifies the Ashcan School artists' interest in everyday subject matter, the urban poor, and the overall vitality of life.

Oil on canvas - National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Footlight Flirtation (1912)

New York, the modern city, was home to many new and spectacular forms of and venues for entertainment. Some were outdoors such as Coney Island's fantastical Dreamland and its illuminated Luna Park, while others were indoors, such as movie theaters and restaurants. Shinn seized on the spectacle of the theater and vaudeville as his signature subjects, including this canvas, which shows the influence of the French Impressionists, in particular Edgar Degas's ballet and opera scenes of Paris. Shinn places us, his viewing audience, in the second row of seats just behind three women topped off with fancy hats. This device of locating his own viewers within the painting's setting is indebted to both Degas and Mary Cassatt. In vaudeville, attending audiences were attracted by the promise of a fleeting interaction with the stage performers. The coquettish young lady on stage gazes directly into the eyes of an audience member as she daringly lifts her skirt to reveal her shapely legs, which was quite daring for its time!

Oil on canvas - Private Collection

Both Members of this Club (1909)

Bellows, known for his manly swagger and bravado, played semipro baseball before relocating to New York City to study painting with Robert Henri. A late-comer to the satellite of artists surrounding Henri, Bellows is frequently considered part of the Ashcan School due to his technique and subject matter. Here, Bellows has packed so much energy and life into this boxing match that one can almost experience viscerally the power of a gloved fist upon bloodied flesh. The vibrancy of color application and fluid brushwork recall the influence of the 17 th -century Dutch painter Franz Hals, whom Bellows greatly admired. Bellows affords us a ring-side view as we are situated as part of the gathered audience at this boxing match. While the name of the white boxer is unknown, the African-American boxer is Joe Gans, who would be the champion for eight years. Public boxing was illegal at sporting clubs due to its crass brutality, but memberships were granted for the duration of the boxers' bout in order to circumvent these restrictions. Hence the name of this work. Boxing was also highly racially charged as white America looked for its "Great White Hope" to conquer champion African-American Jack Johnson, the heavy weight champ. Bellows illuminates and distorts the faces of the spectators who surround the ring, openly mocking their elite status.

Oil on canvas - National Gallery of Art

McSorley's Bar (1912)

John Sloan's canvas McSorley's Bar is his visual commentary on male bonding, prohibition, drinking, and the working class. It typifies the Ashcan School's painterly style, depiction of the working class and immigrant communities (here, the Irish Americans), urban subject matter, and the Ashcan School's promotion of painting as a masculine enterprise. Sloan locates us, his audience, at tables just across from the bar depicted at center here in McSorley's Ale House established in 1854 and still operating today. Maintained as a male-only pub well into the late-20 th century, Sloan invites all viewers into this gendered, public drinking spot. Sloan informally arranges the men both standing and working at the bar in a frieze-like formation as the light enters from the right to illuminate their faces and gestures. There is a roughness to how Sloan, a prominent illustrator, has applied the oil paint, which evokes the authenticity of the scene.

Oil on canvas - Detroit Institute of Art

Cover: The Masses (1914)

John Sloan was an active socialist and began to work for The Masses, a magazine published in bohemian Greenwich Village, soon after it was founded in 1911. Sloan contributed illustrations which were powerfully drawn, politically radical, and forthright in their socialist critique of inequality. There is a marked distinction between Sloan's assertion of his politics in his graphic works and how he approached his paintings as acts of social observation, but without a revolutionary agenda. As the artist stated, "While I am a Socialist, I never allowed social propaganda into my paintings."

Sloan's cover illustration here commemorates the Ludlow Massacre, when Colorado National Guard troops and Colorado Fuel & Iron Company camp guards attacked striking miners and their families in Ludlow, Colorado, in April 1914. Here, a roughly drawn miner shoots back at the troops who have murdered his family. This same image served as the cover of the International Socialist Review. In contrast to his oil paintings, which celebrated working class life without a political agenda, here, Sloan directly addresses, perhaps encourages, the class struggle. As surely as the miner points his gun at John D. Rockefeller's henchmen and the National Guard, the artist places blame on such robber barons as Rockefeller for the deaths of the honest workers and their families.


George Luks - History

George Luks: The Watercolors Rediscovered

1866 August 13th, George Benjamin Luks is born to Emil Charles Luks and Bertha Amalia von Kraemer Luks in Williamsport. The Luks have four children, each of them talented in the arts. The eldest child, Anna, becomes a singer in Lillian Russel's company Leo excels as a violinist George works as an artist, and Will writes poetry, sings and composes. 1872 The Luks family moves from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, where they stay, except for two brief periods when they live in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, and Vineland, New Jersey. 1882 Begins a vaudeville act with his brother Will under the stage name of "Buzzey & Anstock" touring Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 1883 November, fire destroys the town of Shenandoah, prompting the Luks brothers to give up their act and return home to help their family. 1884 April, George enrolls at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, staying only one month. 1889 October, Luks enrolls at the Staatliche, Kunstakademie, at the Düsseldorf Academy, where he studies for only a short time. c. 1890 Luks travels to Paris and London after his study in Düsseldorf. Enjoys the work of Rembrandt, van Steen, Hals, and Renoir. 1891 Luks returns to the United States. His illustrations appear in Puck and Truth , humor magazines. 1892 May, Luks returns to Europe. While there he visits the Prado in Madrid. There he enjoys the work of Velasquez and Goya. 1893 Luks returns to the United States. While returning he paints Ponta Delgada , one of his earliest examples of watercolor. 1894 Luks joins the staff of the Philadelphia Press as an illustrator. He moves into a one room flat with Everett Shinn at the corner of Eighth and Chestnut. Through their work at the Philadelphia Press Luks and Everett Shinn become acquainted with William Glackens, a fellow employee. Shinn then meets John Sloan through his next job at the Inquirer . Through Sloan, Luks and Shinn begin attending the informal Tuesday evening discussion group hosted by Robert Henri at his 806 Walnut Street studio. Henri's interest in the plight of the common man and America, in general, was also central to Luks work. 1894 - 95 Luks is associated with the "Philadelphia Five," which also includes: William Glackens, Everett Shinn, John Sloan, and Robert Henri. 1895 Luks leaves the Philadelphia Press to join the staff of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin . In December of this year Luks leaves for Cuba. He serves as a war correspondent in Cuba for the Evening Bulletin . 1896 January - March, The Bulletin publishes thirty of Luks drawings of Cuba. March, Luks is reportedly fired from The Bulletin for drunkenness and for failure to submit work regularly. While in Cuba he does two watercolors, In Havana and Cuban Dancers . April, Luks moves to New York where he begins working for The New York World as an illustrator. In the fall, Luks begins to draw for the comic strip The Yellow Kid . He continues this strip until December 1897. 1899 Luks leaves The New York World to become the chief cartoonist for The Verdict . 1900 Exhibits a painting entitled Street Scene: East Side New York at the Pennsylvania Academy's Sixty-Ninth Annual Exhibition (Jan. 15 - Feb. 24). This is the first time he participates in a major exhibition. Luks receives his first significant recognition through a review of the exhibition written by R. Armstrong. 1901 Exhibits oil paintings at a group show in the Allan Gallery which was organized by Robert Henri and included Sloan, Glackens, Alfred Maurer and two others. c. 1902 Luks marries the first of his three wives, Lois, who bears his only child, a son, Kent. George and his son are to have no relationship after his subsequent divorce from Lois. c. 1902 - 03 Travels to Paris and England, leaving his pregnant wife in New York. They are later, legally separated. While in France he paints a series of wooden panels of Parisian scenes as well as On the Marne , which he sketches. In the late Teens, he does an impressionistic watercolor of the scene. Returns to America within the same year. 1902 Leaves the newspaper to devote his energy to painting. William Macbeth becomes Luk's dealer. His watercolor, Heckscher Building , has been dated to circa 1902. 1903 This is the first time Luks' work is included in a major New York show in the Society of American Artists Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Exhibition. Also exhibits at The Pennsylvania Academy's Seventy-Second Annual Exhibition (Jan. 19 - Feb. 28). 1904 George marries Emma Louise Noble, sister of a newspaper acquaintance. He returns to Paris for a brief trip. He also becomes a member of the Society of American Artists. Exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago's Seventeenth Annual Exhibition of American Paintings & Sculpture (Oct. 20 - Nov. 27). Also exhibits with the core group of what would become "The Eight" at the National Arts Club in January. 1905 Exhibits at the Pennsylvania Academy's One Hundredth Anniversary Exhibition (Jan. 23 - March 4) and the Society of American Artists Twenty-Seventh Annual Exhibition. Exhibits at the Carnegie Institute's Tenth Annual Exhibition (Nov. 2, 1905 - Jan. 1, 1906). Paints his masterpiece, The Spielers , (Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts). 1906 Joins a new graphics and watercolor group in controversy with the American Watercolor Society, which quickly disbanded without a show. Exhibits at the Modern Art Gallery with Henri, Glackens, Shinn, and Ernest Lawson. 1907 Exhibits at the New Orleans Art Association (Jan. 4 - 16). May, Luks' painting, "Man with Dyed Mustachios" is rejected by the National Academy of Design, despite Robert Henri's protest. This prompts Henri to withdraw from the Academy and to later form "The Eight." 1908 "The Eight," among other factors, is formed from the pre-existing "Philadelphia Five" with the addition of Maurice Prendergast, Arthur B. Davies, and Ernest Lawson. The group exhibits at Macbeth Gallery, (Feb. 3 - 15). They also have a travelling show entitled "Paintings by Eight American Artists Residing in New York & Boston" which begins at the Art Institute of Chicago (Sept. 8 - Oct. 7) and travels to the Toldeo Museum of Art (Oct.) to the Detroit Museum of Art (Dec.) to the Indianapolis Art Association (Jan. 6 - 29) Cincinnati Art Museum (Feb. 6 - 28) to the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh (March 5 - 31) Bridgeport, Ohio and ending in Newark in June of 1909. Exhibits in Pittsburgh at the Carnegie Institute's Twelfth Annual Exhibition (April 30 - June 30). Exhibits at the Corcoran's Second Biennial Exhibition of Oil Paintings by Contemporary American Artists (Dec. 8, 1908 - Jan. 12, 1909). Elected as an associate member of the National Academy of Design. 1909 In addition to the above-mentioned travelling exhibition, Luks exhibits in Buffalo at the Albright Art Gallery and in New York at Macbeth Gallery and with "The Eight" in Berlin. 1910 April, Luks has first one-man show at Macbeth Gallery. Despite urgings from his friends in "The Eight," Luks declines from exhibiting at the 1910 Independent Show to focus on his show at Macbeth's. 1911 Luks joins the American Watercolor Society, exhibiting Madonna of the Vegetables . Exhibits in Buffalo, Indianapolis, St. Louis, New Orleans, and at Rome's International Exposition. 1912 Exhibits in New York at the Folsom Gallery and with the National Association of Portrait Painters. 1913 Luks exhibits at the Armory Show in New York City and becomes a member of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors. He also moves to High Bridge, on the upper west side of Manhattan near the Hudson River, from his Greenwich Village apartment. This becomes a significant locale for his works executed during the 1910s and early 1920s. Luks exhibits at New York's Kraushaar Gallery. He would exhibit there regularly until 1924. Also began exhibiting at the New York Water Color Club's annual exhibitions continuing until 1917. Additional exhibits in Baltimore, Chicago, Rochester, and St. Louis. 1914 July, a group of Luks watercolors and drawings appear in Vanity Fair after having been exhibited in his one-man show at Kraushaar's Gallery. This is the first publication of his work in Vanity Fair , an association that would continue for the next twenty years. Exhibits at the New York Water Color Club's Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Exhibition with Philosopher . Also exhibits at Pennsylvania Academy, National Association of Portrait Painters, and the Corcoran. 1915 Exhibits at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Paints the watercolors Plucking Chickens , River Boats , Gossip , Playing Soldiers and Harlem River . 1916 Luks receives the Hudnut Watercolor Prize at the New York Water Color Club's Twenty-Seventh Annual Exhibition for his work, On The Marne . He is also awarded the William A. Clark Prize and an honorable mention both from the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. Also exhibits at the Pennsylvania Academy and the Art Institute of Chicago. Becomes a member of the Society of Independent Artists, of which his friends William Glackens and John Sloan are presidents. Luks is on the advisory board. Commences exhibiting at the Toledo Museum of Art's Annual Exhibitions of American Painters (1916 - 1923, 1926 - 27, 1932 - 33). 1917 Exhibits at the Pennsylvania Academy and the Art Institute of Chicago. Also has a one-man show at the Newark Museum. 1918 Luks wins the Temple Gold Medal at the Pennsylvania Academy exhibits at the Indianapolis Art Association and the Art Institute of Chicago. Exhibits at the Milwaukee Art Institute with Augustus Vincent Tack and John Sloan. In a one-man show at Kraushaar Gallery he exhibits sixteen watercolors and fourteen oils. He spends time that autumn in Connecticut with his friend, the sculptor of Mt. Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum. While there he executes a series of Czechoslovakian theme paintings inspired by his time spent with Czech emigrés who were also staying with Borglum. Luks also paints a series of French scenes taken from a sketchbook of renderings done in the early 1900s. Watercolors from this series include Verdun, France , Rue Royal , Night , On the Seine , Serene (Paris) and Cathedral . Other watercolors done during Luks' World War I period include: Art Student , Lamp Light , Harlem Bridge and High Bridge . 1919 Luks summers in Nova Scotia where he paints a series of oils and watercolors. Luks exhibits at the Corcoran, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Pennsylvania Academy (where he serves as a juror of painting) and exhibits in the first exhibition of the Society of American Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers at the Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. 1920 January, Luks exhibits his Nova Scotia work at the Kraushaar Gallery to good reviews. He wins the Logan Medal at the Art Institute of Chicago for his painting Otis Skinner . He begins teaching at the Art Students League in New York. 1921 Exhibits at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts One Hundred Sixteenth Annual Exhibition. Travels to the Schuylkill Coal Region of Pennsylvania where he will return in 1923, 1925, and in 1927. While visiting there he begins a series of watercolors. Also exhibits six of his watercolors at the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery in a show entitled Watercolors by Nine American Artists (Jan.). This show travels to the Toldeo Museum of Art and the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy (Albright Art Gallery) in the same year. Works exhibited: Euniskillers Lodge , The Runaway, Fifth Lake Carry , The Screecher , Guides in a Storm and Trout Fishing . 1922 Luks exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago's Watercolor Exhibition ( Spring Street and The Candy Woman ) (April 15 - May 15). He becomes ill and enters a sanitarium after he separates from his second wife. He then goes to Boston where he stays with a former student, patron, and friend, Mrs. Q.A. Shaw McKean, formerly Margaret Sargeant. There he paints several oils and does another series of watercolors. He also does a series of watercolors inspired by his summer visit to Pond Cove, Maine. Across the Inlet and Maine Island are two such works. In October, He exhibits his Maine work at the Kraushaar Gallery. Exhibits Spring Street at the Pennsylvania Academy and The Cleveland Museum of Art's Second Annual Watercolor Exhibition (Nov. 15 - Dec. 15). 1923 In January Luks has a retrospective show of 39 of his works at the Kraushaar Gallery. Luks also exhibits at the Brooklyn Museum's watercolor exhibition (Nov. 19 - Dec 20th) showing: Mike Cummins and A Daughter of the Mines . Additionally, he exhibits at Saint Louis City Art Museum's International Watercolor Exhibition. Also shows at the Pennsylvania Academy and the Art Institute of Chicago. 1924 Luks' last year in association with the Kraushaar Gallery. He stops teaching at the Art Students League and exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago. 1925 Opens the George Luks School of Painting in midtown Manhattan. He teaches at this school until his death in 1933 at which point John Sloan succeeds him. Luks has an exhibition of his "Anthracite" paintings, watercolors, and drawings at the Rehn Galleries. Rehn respresents him until his death. This group of work is based upon his experiences in the Anthracite coal mining region of northern Pennsylvania. His second marriage ends in divorce. Luks forfeits a sizeable block of his work to his ex-wife in the divorce settlement. Luks arranges a temporary studio this summer in his childhood hometown of Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Exhibits at the Pennsylvania Academy and the Art Institute of Chicago. Luks buys a farmhouse in Old Chatham, New York in the Berkshire Mountains for a summer home. He paints a series of watercolors there over the next several years. 1926 Luks wins the Logan Medal at the Art Institute of Chicago. Also participates in the Art Institute of Chicago's International Watercolor Exhibition ( The Miner and Market, Early Morning ). Exhibits at the Pennsylvania Academy and begins exhibiting annually at the Cleveland Museum of Art's annual watercolor exhibition (1926 - 1929). 1927 Luks marries Mercedes Carbonell, a Cuban woman many years his junior (aged twenty-eight). Luks wins the Gold Medal at the Locust Club exhibition in Philadelphia. He exhibits a series of Pennsylvania mining watercolors at the Rehn Galleries. Exhibits at the Pennsylvania Academy and the Art Institute of Chicago. 1928 Exhibits at the Pennsylvania Academy and the Corcoran. c. 1928 Luks executes a series of watercolors at the estate of his friend, Harrison Tweed, at Montauk, Long Island. 1929 Luks exhibits at the Fifth Biennial Watercolor Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum (Jan. 21 - Feb. 18) showing: By the Pond , Hickman's Church , The Waterfall and Where the Coal Begins . He also exhibits The Waterfall at the the Pennsylvania Academy's Twenty-Seventh Annual Watercolor Exhibition. 1930 Exhibits at the the Pennsylvania Academy, the Corcoran, the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Seventeenth International Exhibition in Venice, Italy. c. 1930 Moved to Gramercy Park from High Bridge. 1931 Jan. 5 - 24th, Luks exhibits his oils and watercolors at Rehn Galleries, New York. Exhibits at the Twenty-Ninth Annual Watercolor Exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy, showing three works: Corner Bridge , Schoolhouse and Village Church . He also exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago. 1932 Luks takes a trip to Hadlyme, Connecticut, where he does the last series of watercolors before his death. Luks wins the William A. Clark Prize and the Corcoran Gold Medal in Washington. D.C.'s Corcoran Gallery. He exhibits at the Pennsylvania Academy's Annual Watercolor Exhibition, showing three works: Hotel Craryville , Old Quaker Meeting House and House in the Woods . He also exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago. 1933 Exhibits at the Pennsylvania Academy's Thirty-First Annual Watercolor Exhibition, showing three works: The Annual Hamburg Fair , The Seven Sisters and Hadlyme Sunset . Exhibits at Cleveland Museum of Art's Tenth Annual Watercolor Exhibition. October 29, Luks is found dead on the streets of New York, a casualty of a speakeasy brawl. 1934 Memorial Exhibitions of the Work of George Benjamin Luks, Newark Museum, Vose Galleries and Rehn Gallery. 1942 Included in survey watercolor exhibition at the Whitney Museum. 1950 Estate sale of Luks paintings and drawings at Parke-Bernet Auction Galleries, New York. 1951 Sale of watercolors and oils given to Emma Luks Frankenberg in 1921 (ex-wife), Parke-Bernet Auction Galleries, New York. 1957 Exhibition of watercolors at The Rehn Gallery, New York. 1958 One-man show at Washington Irving Gallery, as part of the anniversary of "The Eight" show watercolors and drawings. 1961 One-man show at ACA American Heritage Gallery: oils and watercolors. 1965 One-man show at ACA American Heritage Gallery: sketchbooks. 1966 One-man show at Joan Peterson Gallery, Boston: oils and watercolors from Shaw-McKean Collection. 1967 Centennial Exhibit at Williamsport and Lock Haven, Pennsylvania: paintings and graphics represented in 200 Years of Watercolor Painting in America at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrospective exhibit at ACA Galleries. 1968 One-man show at ACA Galleries. 1970 The Watercolors of George Luks: A Thesis in Art History , dissertation written by Ralph Clayes Talcott for the Pennsylvania State University. 1973 George Luks (1866 - 1933), Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, New York. 1974 George Luks Watercolor Exhibition , Childs Gallery, Boston. 1987 George Luks: An American Artist , Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes College, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, May 3 - June 14, 1987. 1994 - 95 George Luks: Expressionist Master of Color-- The Watercolors Rediscovered , Canton Museum of Art (travels to Westmoreland Museum of Art, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio).

Search Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.

Copyright 2008 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc. , an Arizona nonprofit corporation. Todos os direitos reservados.


Assista o vídeo: George Luks, Hester Street Art History for Kids