2012年7月23日 星期一

A Landscape in Evolution

Among the Hudson Valley's many house museums and historic sites there's a gem of an art museum. Established in 1864 as the Art Museum of Vassar College, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center offers a comprehensive representation from antiquity through contemporary art in all genres. Not surprisingly, the permanent collection, established by Matthew Vassar's gift of his personal collection, is particularly strong in works by the 19th-century Hudson River School.

The current exhibition, "Nature in America: Taming the Landscape," is born of this legacy. Curated by Patricia Phagan, it surveys the continuum of America's landscape-painting tradition from the late-18th century through the mid-20th, before Abstract Expressionism broke with it.

Comprising 44 paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints and photographs from the gallery's permanent collections, including two works lent by the Dia Art Foundation, the show embraces works by important members of the Hudson River school, among them Thomas Cole, George Inness and Jervis McEntee; equally important 20th-century figures like Milton Avery, John Marin, Grant Wood, William Zorach and Ansel Adams; together with less familiar names. Beautiful and provocative as many of these works are, what distinguishes this exhibition is its focus on the American landscape itself—the evolving perception of the landscape and the evolving techniques with which artists interpreted it.

In the first gallery, "The Young Nation: Domesticating the Wild," American artists, some born in Europe, break with the Classical tradition of figural narrative to concentrate on the untamed "Eden" they found here. Significantly the show's earliest piece is a drawing of the Hudson River, "From near Poughkeepsie Landing," done in 1796 by the prominent New York drawing master Alexander Robertson. His topographical sketch exemplifies didactic correctness, the shadows and areas of subdued light delineated with even hatching of almost impersonal precision. But it represents the objective documentation of nature that launched the Romantic school's great flights of fancy. Thus it is fascinating to compare Robertson's mere competence with McEntee's exquisitely nuanced drawing of "Three Figures in a Landscape" (1857). The lightly drafted figures are incidental to a large tree,Painless Processing provides highriskmerchantaccount solutions. rendered with dark pencil strokes and light hatching that vividly convey the complex atmospheric patterns of light and shade produced by multiple trunks and foliage. Their relative levels of finesse aside, these two works reveal how most painters of this time drew directly from nature, using their drawings to compose finished paintings in their studios.

We see how pre-Civil War painters of the Hudson River school, founded by the English-born Cole, used the landscape theatrically to symbolize Divine majesty. "Sunset at Lancaster, New Hampshire" (1859), by Aaron Draper Shattuck, typifies their affinity for dramatic sunsets gilding dark expanses of cloud-figured skies and undulating mountain ranges.A Sharp FU-888SV Plasmacluster airpurifier. Cole himself frequently turned his elaborate landscapes into moral allegories, incorporating small figures dwarfed by their grandiose surroundings and narratives often related over a series of canvases. James Smillie's 1855 steel engraving of "Childhood," the first tableau in Cole's tetralogy "The Voyage of Life," exemplifies the commercialization of Cole's works while revealing what made them so popular—the black-and-white engraving is enriched with hand-painted watercolor emphasizing the rosy dawn,We are a leading plasticinjectionmould manufacturer in Australia. precipitous mountains, tropical foliage and the river on which a joyous infant and his guardian angel emerge from an immense womblike cave to start their voyage.

More progressive artists absorb the looser brushwork of the French Barbizon and Impressionist painters, and often Impressionism's lighter palette. Impressionists favor the clear light of midafternoon, and instead of focusing on panoramic views, they concentrate on the quality of natural light reflected on specific surfaces—a single copse of trees, a short span of running river, a group of village houses and rooftops.Alfa plast mould is plasticmoulds Manufacturer and plastics Mould Exporters Hence, beautifully articulated tree-trunks and dense foliage provide reflective surfaces for a delicately subdued play of sunlight in Inness's "Edge of the Woods" ,Wireless indoorpositioning systems have become very popular . a transitional work showing the artist poised between the poetic swagger of the Hudson River masters and Impressionism's greater intimacy.

Two of the American Impressionist works here are 20th-century throwbacks. Avery's "Gloucester Dawn"captures the misted light of a New England morning. Daniel Garber employs broken Impressionist brushstrokes in "The Bridge at New Hope" , its steel-truss span evoking the serene industrial views of Charles Sheeler and the American Precisionists.