John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Sarasota, FL




Green Woods and Crystal Waters: The American Landscape Tradition Since 1950

January 14 to March 19, 2000


The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art will open Green Woods and Crystal Waters: The American Landscape Tradition Since 1950 on January 14, 2000 in the Museum's West Galleries. The exhibition, organized by the Philbrook Museum of Art, will remain on view through March 19, 2000. A fully illustrated catalogue will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.

left to right: Brooks Anderson, b. 1957, Cathedral, 1991, oil on canvas, 48 x 72 inches, The Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma, museum purchase in honor of Jon R. Stuart for his service as chairman of the board of Trustees, 1997-1999; William Beckman, c. 1942, Parshall's Barn, 1977, oil on canvas, 63 x 72 inches, Collection of Malcolm Holzman; Carolyn Brady, b. 1937, Red and White Parrot Tulips Unfolding, 1987, watercolor on paper, 18 1/4 x 23 3/4 inches, Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine, gift of the artist, 1987; Gordon Cook, 1927-1985, Steamboat Slough-Early Fall, 1970, oil on canvas, 18 5/8 x 18 1/2 inches

Green Woods and Crystal Waters: The American Landscape Tradition Since 1950 will examine American landscape painting in the second half of the 20th century through the works of approximately 80 artists. Keeping the city at a safe distance, it will focus on the pastoral views and dramatic wilderness that have provided such a powerful American subject over two centuries. Formally and expressively diverse, the works in the exhibition range from objective depiction of the physical appearance of nature to the romantic or mystical use of landscape as a vehicle for poetic and spiritual concerns to the expressionist's reshaping of nature to follow the curvature of interior moods. Each of these very different approaches is central to our visual tradition and has colored our portrayals of the landscape.

left to right: Rackstraw Downes, b. 1939, Rainwater Ditch and Six Culvert Bridge, Texas City, Texas, 1996, oil on canvas, 19 x 90 inches, The Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma, museum purchase; Margaret Grimes, b. 1943, Study for the Woods at Night, 1991, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches, Courtesy of Blue Mountain Gallery, New York; Alexandre Hogue, 1898-1994, Lava-Capped Mesa, Big Bend, 1976, oil on canvas, 34 x 56 inches, University of Tulsa; Jon Imber, b. 1950, The Ledge, 1997, oil on board, 32 x 22 inches, Courtesy of Nielsen Gallery, Boston, Massachussetts

America's transcendental concept of god in nature, articulated in the essays of Emerson and Thoreau and visually embraced in the 19th century works of Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church and George Inness, was carried into the 20th century through the world of Charles Burchfield, Arthur G. Dove and Marsden Hartley. Today, parallels to those spiritual and poetic landscapes are echoed in the elegant panoramas of James Winn, the classical views of David Ligare and the eloquent visual of San Francisco of Paul Wonner.

left to right: Abb Lofquist, b. 1964, Three Trees in November, 1995, oil on linen, 31 x 60 inches, Courtesy of Tatischeff Gallery, New York; James McGarrell, b. 1930, Ozark Valley Fog, 1991, oil on canvas, 80 x 62 inches, Courtesy of George Adams Gallery, New York; Susan Shatter, b. 1943, Indian Point, 1984, oil on canvas, 45 x 75 inches, Courtesy of the artist; Tom Uttech, b. 1942, Mittogaami-Mako, 1990, oil on canvas, 57 x 50 inches, The Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma, museum purchase in honor of Keith E. Bailey for his service as chairman of the board of Trustees, 1994-1995

The perceptually based images of Philip Pearlstein, Alfred Leslie, Alex Katz and Jack Beal and the painterly views of Jane Freilicher, Fairfield Porter, Paul Georges and Neil Welliver typify the realism that evolved in the northeast in the late 1950s and was central to the revival of realism in the 1960s and 1970s. This imagery stands in contrast to the open-ended, improvisational landscapes of the Bay Area figurative painters such as Richard Diebenkorn, Theophilys Brown and Wayne Thiebaud, all reflecting the influences of abstract expressionism. Similarly, the bravura landscapes of Wolf Kahn, Nell Blaine, Paul Resika and Bernard Chaet convey the impact of Hoffman, de Kooning and Rothko on landscape painting. Other artists reflect the deeply personal expressionism of Hartley and Dove, an aspect that resonates in the works of Alice Neel and more recent painters such as Rafael Ferrer, Gregory Amenoff and Jim Waid. Plein air painting will be traced through Edwin Dickinson and his student George Nick, Lennart Anderson, Rackstraw Downes and Keith Jacobshagen.

left to right: James Valerio, b. 1938, Backyard, 1993, oil on canvas, 84 x 96 inches, Private collection; James Winn, b. 1949, Clearing Off: No. 6, 1996, acrylic on paper, 18 1/2 x 46 inches, Courtesy of D. C. Moore Gallery, New York

Season 2000 exhibitions and programs are made possible in part by the Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax through the Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council and the Sarasota County Arts Council and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council, and Museum donors.


rev. 12/11/99

Read more about the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 11/26/10

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