Posts Tagged ‘New York painters’

“Tattoo and Haircut” on the Bowery

June 18, 2012

Tattoo parlors, sketchy barber shops, and shady characters hanging around an all-night Bowery mission are all part of painter Reginald Marsh’s “Tattoo and Haircut,” completed in 1932.

Marsh’s paintings typically feature the city’s marginalized Depression-era outcasts.

“What interested Marsh was not the individuals in a crowd, but the crowd itself … In their density and picturesqueness, they recall the crowds in the movies of Preston Sturges or Frank Capra,” wrote Marilyn Cohen in Reginald Marsh’s New York.

The “absolute stillness” of a view from Brooklyn

February 5, 2012

The vantage point in a “View From Brooklyn,” painted by George Copeland Ault in 1927, looks like Brooklyn Heights or Red Hook.

Or is it farther up the East River, from Williamsburg or Greenpoint?

“A precisionist and surrealist painter, especially noted for nocturnes, George Ault had the ability to depict lonely, everyday beauty of the world in a moment of absolute stillness,” states the caption to the painting at askart.com.

“He also experimented with more traditional styles of realism, but was relatively untouched by modernist abstraction.  His paintings were based on what he saw around him, many of them architectural subjects, and rendered in a quietly controlled manner.”

A windy, slushy Union Square in 1892

October 31, 2011

Frederick Childe Hassam’s “Winter in Union Square,” painted from 17th Street near Hassam’s studio, kind of resembles what Union Square looked like on Saturday.

Hassam frequently depicted New York streets in severe weather, like this one of pedestrians battling rain in Union Square.

The “chopped out” city from Greenwich Village

October 19, 2011

John Sloan depicts a moody Village set apart from the rest of the city in his 1922 painting “The City From Greenwich Village.”

In his notes, he had this to say about the setting, the light, and “chopped out” modern New York:

“Looking south over lower Sixth Avenue from the roof of my Washington Place studio, on a winter evening. The distant lights of the great office buildings downtown are seen in the gathering darkness. The triangular loft building on the right had contained my studio for three years before.

“Although painted from memory it seems thoroughly convincing in its handling of light and space. The spot on which the spectator stands is now an imaginary point since all the buildings as far as the turn of the elevated have been removed, and Sixth Avenue has been extended straight down to the business district.

“The picture makes a record of the beauty of the older city which is giving way to the chopped-out towers of the modern New York. Pencil sketch provided details.”

Descending the subway stairs in 1938

June 13, 2011

It’s a lonely experience in “Entrance to Subway,” by New York City painter Mark Rothko, part of his “subway series” completed in the late 1930s. These paintings depicted the disconnection of modern urban life.

“In the mid-1930s Mark Rothko began a series of works with subjects derived from the urban experience that became known as the Subway series,” writes the Brooklyn Museum. “These paintings reflect the artist’s sense of isolation, shared by many at the time, that resulted from the harsh social conditions caused by the Great Depression.”

No word on which station Rothko, who had a studio on 53rd Street, painted here. But I love the wooden turnstiles.

The “watery slush” of Washington Square

February 16, 2011

The park was a favorite subject for Ashcan artist William Glackens, who depicts a late winter scene in “Washington Square, Winter” from 1910.

“Washington Square South was Glackens’s home from 1904 to 1913, and he painted more scenes of the square than any other subject except the beach near Bellport, Long Island,” states the website for the New Britain Museum of American Art, where the painting hangs.

“The Washington Square paintings were done in the winter, when the artist delighted in using paint to describe the thick mud, deep snowdrifts, and watery slush on the sidewalks.

“Once a fashionable address, it was by 1910 a diverse neighborhood, typical of the city of New York, which fascinated Glackens. Among the favored details that appear in his Washington Square series are the boy with the red sled, the green bus or trolley, and the woman in the flowered hat.”