Sunday, May 14, 2017

Marsden Hartley at Met Breuer

A highlight of our spring art tour of New York is at the Met Breuer (former Whitney Museum building). Here is a quick survey of its treasures.
Visitors step off the elevator to some evocative film footage that Hartley shot on a river in Maine.
Storm Down Pine Point Way, Old Orchard Beach, 1941-43 illustrates Harley's response to American Folk Painting.
as does City Point, Vinalhaven, 1937-38.
Untitled (Maine Landscape), 1910 reminded us of Canadian Group of Seven paintings although he comes to this style through folk art rather than through Deco.
Paysage, 1924
The Wave, 1940 is Harley's wonderful response to
Winslow Homer's painting, Northeaster, 1895.
Both John and I were inspired by Harley's drawings like Self-Portrait as a Draftsman, 1908.
Sawing Wood, 1908 (graphite). No one else has a line quite like this.
Study for "Lobster Fishermen", 1940, pastel.
On the Beach, 1940 once more reflects Harley's interest in folk painting with his simplified shapes and out-of-proportion figures.
Here is his (much more realistic) drawing for the painting.
Monumental male form in Flaming American (Swim Champ), 1939-40.
We loved Sea Window-Tinker Mackerel, 1942
with its still-life of mackerel.
The exhibition filled one floor of the building -- allowing an in depth look at his oeuvre without exhausting the visitor.
The show ended with an evocative Mount Katahdin, Snow Storm, 1942 which may reflect his interest in Japanese prints of Mount Fuji.

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