West Palm Beach, Florida
George Bellows: Love of Winter
December 7 - February 8, 1998
The Norton Museum of Art presents "George Bellows: Love of Winter" December 6, 1997 through February 8, 1998. The exhibition is generously underwritten in part by SunTrust and American Express Company.
"Love of Winter," 1914
Oil on canvas, Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago
Organized and circulated by the Norton Museum of Art, "George Bellows: Love of Winter" breaks new ground in the study of Bellows's development. This is the first exhibition to concentrate exclusively on Bellows's winter paintings, made between 1907 and 1915. It was in these paintings that Bellows first mastered issues of color, composition and paint application which later become central to his art as a whole. In the winter paintings, we see for the first time the important early American Modernist. Bellows himself realized the importance of the winter paintings to his development as a painter, writing in 1914, "There has been none of my favorite snow. 1 must always paint the snow at least once a year."
George Bellows's winter paintings were inspired by many different locations in and around New York. The largest group, including the Norton's painting "Winter Afternoon" depicts the Hudson River and Riverside Park, with the Palisades in the distance. Another group portrays the East River and the new bridges spanning it, of which New Yorkers were very proud. A further group of paintings represents the New York Docks, which by Bellows's day were part of the largest port in the world. A small series of paintings represent other New York City scenes, including street scenes. Finally, a group which has never before been shown in any major exhibition since Bellows's death, concentrates on the landscape around Zion, New Jersey, where Bellows went on a working holiday in January, 1909. Ironically, this greatly ignored group shows Bellows's making new strides in color and treatment of paint.
Text and images courtesy of Norton Museum of Art.
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