Posts Tagged ‘” John Sloan paintings’

Walking through rainy Union Square in 1912

March 21, 2013

Looking at John’s Sloan’s foreboding “Spring Rain” makes me feel as if I’m right behind this woman as she walks the slick pavement of an almost empty city park.

Johnsloanspringrain

That’s exactly the point. “In his 1912 painting Spring Rain, he placed the viewer on a wet path in Union Square by filling the lower edge of the picture—the front edge of the picture plane—with rain-soaked pavement,” writes Nancy Mowll Mathews in Moving Pictures.

“Then Sloan moved the journey diagonally up through the painting as the path recedes into the space of the park. We too seem to be standing on the walkway watching the back of a young lady as she moves though the park. Through the artist’s hand the viewer experiences what it is like to cross the empty park in the mist of a spring rain.”

Red stockings: a fad at the time?

The party at Herald Square, Election Day 1907

November 3, 2012

There were no big national or citywide contests on November 5, 1907. Teddy Roosevelt had been reelected president in 1904, and mayor George McClellan was safely ensconced in his second term.

So who were these New Yorkers, depicted by John Sloan in “Election Night 1907,” so boisterous and excited?

Sloan, who lived in Greenwich Village, later described the scene he encountered in Herald Square:

“Took a walk in the afternoon and saw boys in droves, foraging for fuel for their election fires this evening. . . . after dinner . . . out again and saw the noisy trumpet blowers, confetti throwers and the “ticklers” in use—a small feather duster on a stick which is pushed in the face of each girl by the men, and in the face of men by the girls. A good humorous crowd, so dense in places that it is impossible to control one’s movement.”

The women of John Sloan’s South Beach Bathers

July 16, 2012

Exchange the wool bathing outfits for bikinis, and female beachgoers today aren’t much different from their 1908 counterparts, as depicted in John Sloan’s 1908 painting “South Beach Bathers.”

“Sloan first visited South Beach, an amusement park on Staten Island that attracted primarily working-class clientele, on June 23, 1907,” states the web site for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

“Like many of his New York–themed works, his depiction of South Beach suggests a story that begins when one person looks at another. In South Beach Bathers a woman adjusting her hat is eyed appreciatively from the side and behind by men lounging on the sand.”

“Women play several roles at once in Sloan’s art: beyond being objects of desire, they record the new independence of modern New Yorkers, while also presenting a variation on old ideals of beauty in art.”


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