Editor's note: The James A. Michener Art Museum provided source material to Resource Library for the following article or essay. If you have questions or comments regarding the source material, please contact the James A. Michener Art Museum directly through either this phone number or web address:
Form Radiating Life: The Paintings of Charles Rosen
October 13, 2006 - January 28, 2007
The James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown is presenting the exhibition Form Radiating Life: The Paintings of Charles Rosen on view from October 13, 2006 through January 28, 2007. Rosen was one of the most distinguished Pennsylvania Impressionist artists; he began his career as a successful landscape painter and later changed his work dramatically to a more modernist style.
For some painters a single way of working can last a lifetime. This was not Rosen's story. He began his creative career as a highly successful landscape painter, prominently associated with the impressionist art colony centered in New Hope, Pennsylvania, in the early twentieth century. His best-known New Hope canvases are large-scale snow scenes and spring scenes, utilizing a simple but elegant compositional style sometimes reminiscent of Japanese prints. These landscapes explore many different techniques and often exhibit a stylistic restlessness.
In his late thirties and early forties, Rosen became dissatisfied with the landscape style, and under the influence of modernist ideas his work changed radically. He completely abandoned traditional landscapes in favor of a manner of working that might be described as both rhythmic and semi-abstract, one that usually used man-made structures as subjects and was based on a passionate exploration of form as a living, organic phenomenon. Rosen himself described this idea as "form that radiates life" and spoke of the "effort to achieve this in paint." In 1920 he moved to Woodstock, New York, where he taught at the Art Students League summer school. He developed close friendships with fellow Woodstock painters George Bellows and Eugene Speicher, and also taught painting in Columbus, Ohio, and San Antonio, Texas.
Rosen's work is in more than 20 museum collections, and the exhibition features over 48 works, including major examples of both his landscape and modernist styles, as well as works on paper. Form Radiating Life: The Paintings of Charles Rosen is curated by the Michener's Senior Curator Brian H. Peterson.
Form Radiating Life: The Paintings of Charles Rosen will travel to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, State University of New York at New Platz, where it will be on view from February 21, 2007 through May 13, 2007.
The exhibition is accompanied by a major publication that provides an in-depth examination of the life and work of Charles Rosen, studying both phases of his career and featuring paintings from major museum and private collections that demonstrate this unusual range of styles. Approx. 200 pages in length and lavishly illustrated with 183 color images, this book represents the oeuvre of an artist not only of prodigious talent and vision but also of tremendous sensitivity and imagination. Principally authored by the Michener's Senior Curator Brian H. Peterson, the book includes an essay on Rosen's Woodstock years by Tom Wolf, Professor of Art History at Bard College, and is co-published by the Michener Art Museum and the University of Pennsylvania Press.
Peterson has more than twenty-five years experience as a curator, critic, artist, and arts administrator in the Philadelphia area. He has been responsible for guiding the Michener's exhibition program since 1993, and was the chief curator and project manager for the museum's major permanent multimedia exhibition Creative Bucks County: A Celebration of Art and Artists on Bucks County artists that opened in 1996. Peterson has curated numerous historic and contemporary exhibitions with a wide range of subject matter and genres, and he is the editor and principal author of the books Pennsylvania Impressionism and The Cities, the Towns, the Crowds: The Paintings of Robert Spencer, co-published by the Michener Art Museum and the University of Pennsylvania Press.
In conjunction with the exhibition the Museum will present a number of programs including two Curator's Gallery Talkson Rosen by Brian H. Peterson on Friday, October 20, from 2 to 3 pm, and on Wednesday, January 10, from 2 to 3 pm at Michener Art Museum in New Hope.
Brian H. Peterson will also conduct a Special Exhibition Lecture: Form Radiating Life: The Paintings of Charles Rosen on Wednesday, November 1,from 2 to 3 pm at the Michener in New Hope in the Community Gallery at Occasions on the Courtyard Level adjacent to the Museum.
A lecture entitled A Tale of Two Colonies: Charles Rosen's Woodstock Years by Tom Wolf, Professor of Art History at Bard College on Sunday, October 15, from 2 to 3 pm at the Michener in New Hope in the Community Gallery at Occasions on the Courtyard Level adjacent to the Museum. Wolf has written extensively about twentieth-century American art and artists, and the history of the art colony in Woodstock, New York.
Form Radiating Life: The Paintings of Charles Rosen is sponsored by Rago Arts and Auction Center located in Lambertville, New Jersey.
(above: Charles Rosen, The Roundhouse, Kingston, New York, 1927, oil on canvas, H. 30.125 x W. 40.25 inches, James A. Michener Art Museum, Gift of the John P. Horton Estate)
(above: Charles Rosen, Under the Bridge, 1918, oil on canvas, H. 32 x W. 40 inches, Collection of Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest)
(above: Charles Rosen, Opalescent Morning, n.d., oil on canvas, H. 32 x W. 40 inches, Gift of Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest)
Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index age for the Michener Art Museum in Resource Library.
Visit the Table of Contents for Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.
Copyright 2006 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.