Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Kaleidoscopic view of art history of America

‘Artists in America: Highlights of the Collection’ from the New Britain Museum of American Art surveys 300 years of great American painting rarely seen on Long Island. Its 79 artworks, which date right from the early 1700s to the exciting present incorporate history painting, portraits, landscape, still life, modernist abstraction and other forms with significant instances of fascinating photography, collage and other unconventional media. Here are the highlights of this kaleidoscopic exhibition as elaborated in an accompanying note:   
  • Major artists from every era of American art are on view, including John Singleton Copley, Charles Willson Peale, John Singer Sargent, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, Robert Motherwell and Sol LeWitt.
  • Norman Rockwell’s beloved paintings portray a wholesome, idealized America while Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton celebrate the rural and local, hard work and honest labor. Paintings from the Hudson River School by renowned artists Thomas Cole, Frederick Edwin Church and John Frederick Kensett focus on the sublime grandeur of American landscapes.
  • American Impressionist painters Frederick Carl Frieseke and Theodore Robinson capture beautiful moments through sketchy brushstrokes, brilliant color, and ephemeral atmospheres. Influenced by European art movements of the early twentieth century, American Modernists including the Precisionist Charles Sheeler and Abstract Expressionist Adolph Gottlieb emphasize the industrial, the international, or the psychological through gesture, texture, surface, geometry, shape, form and color.

  • The work of contemporary artists Cindy Sherman, Rashaad Newsome and Radcliffe Bailey coalesce around the politics of feminism and sexual identity, the issues of multiculturalism and social reform, as well as concern for the environment and natural resources.
  • All works in the exhibition at the Nassau County Museum of Art are selected from the permanent collections of the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut. The presentation of Artists in America is organized by Museum Director Karl Emil Willers, working with Deputy Director Fernanda Bennett, Assistant Curator Rhianna Ellis, and the curatorial interns Andrea Chang, Faith Natalie Friedfeld, Brett Garde, Elizabeth Shaja and Danielle Sweeny.

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