Wednesday, February 20, 2013

George Bellows - Ashcan School's Star Pupil at the Met + The Juicing Revolution

An enlargement (wall mural) of George Bellows' painting A Stag at Sharkey's at the entrance to the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

Paddy FlanniganGeorge Bellows
1908 Oil on canvas
30 1/4 x 25 in. (76.8 x 63.5 cm)

Forty-two Kids - George Bellows
1907 Oil on canvas

42 x 60 in. (106.7 x 152.4 cm)

ART:
George Bellows -
A Retrospective
at the Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, NYC.
This exhibition originated at the National Gallery of Art (DC) then moved to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC) and will soon open at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (March 16-June 9, 2012)

Detail of George Bellows'
Self-Portrait
1921
Lithograph
full print: 10 1/2 x 7 7/8 in. (26.7 x 20 cm)

Born in 1882, George Bellows was regarded as one of America's greatest artists when he died in 1925. Bellows's early fame rested on his powerful depictions of boxing matches and gritty scenes of New York City's tenement life, but he also painted cityscapes, seascapes, war scenes, and portraits, and made illustrations and lithographs that addressed many of the social, political, and cultural issues of the day. Featuring some one hundred works from Bellows' extensive oeuvre, this landmark exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of the artist's career in nearly half a century. It invites the viewer to be a participant in the first few decades of the twentieth century in New York City and the North-Eastern coast of the US.
At that time, life was played out in public - on the back streets and stoops of the lower income areas in New York City.
The Cliff Dwellers - George Bellows
1913

Watercolor and pen and brush and black ink on wove paper
21 1/4 x 27 in. (54 x 68.6 cm)
Exhibition Overview
The exhibition is organized thematically, within a chronological framework:
New York, 1905–1908; Boxers and Portraits, 1907–1909; Penn Station and the Hudson River, 1907–1909; Work and Leisure, 1910–16; The Sea, 1911–17; Bellows’s Process, 1912–16; The War, 1918; Bellows’s Process, 1916–23; Family and Friends, 1914–19; and Late Works, 1920–24.
The same scene as above, except in a more resolved color painting.
The Cliff Dwellers - George Bellows

1913
Oil on canvas
39 1/2 x 41 1/2 in. (100.3 x 105.4 cm)
Raised in Columbus, Ohio, Bellows attended Ohio State University, where his athletic talents presaged a future in professional sports and his illustrations for the student yearbook heralded a career as an artist. In 1904, he left college and moved to New York to study with Robert Henri, under whose influence he became the leading young member of the Ashcan School. The Ashcan artists aimed to chronicle the realities of daily life, but often depicted them through rose-colored glasses. Bellows, the boldest and most versatile among them in his choice of subjects, palettes, and techniques—and also the youngest—treated both the immigrant poor and society's wealthiest with equanimity.


Tennis at Newport - George Bellows
1920
Oil on canvas
43 x 54 in. (109.2 x 137.2 cm)
As Bellows’s reputation grew, his experiences, subject interests, and social contacts expanded. Although many of his paintings concentrate on the world of work, he also recorded the leisure classes, who created a rich visual pageant as they enjoyed promenades in New York’s parks and other genteel activities. 
The Big Dory  - George Bellows 
1913
Oil on panel
18 x 22 in. (45.7 x 55.9 cm)

Bellows never traveled abroad but learned from the European masters by seeking out their works in museums, where he was a regular visitor. 


Up the Hudson - George Bellows
1908
Oil on canvas
H. 35-7/8, W. 48-1/8 inches (91.1 x 122.2 cm)
(This painting is not a part of the current exhibition.)
In 1911, the Met acquired one of his Hudson River scenes, Up the Hudson, making him one of the youngest artists in the collection; he was twenty-nine years old at the time. Over the years, ten more paintings, six drawings, and some fifty prints were added to the Met's holdings.
Beach at Coney Island - George Bellows
1908
Oil on canvas
42 x 60 in. (106.7 x 152.4 cm)
Nearly a third of the exhibition is devoted to scenes of New York City. After painting several scenes of tenement kids enjoying themselves along the banks of Manhattan’s East River, Bellows turned to a popular destination for diverse crowds seeking relief from the summer’s heat on their day off from work. His Beach at Coney Island (1908, private collection) signals the relaxed moral codes associated with this locale on Brooklyn’s south shore. One leading critic described Bellows’s teeming view as “a distinctly vulgar scene,” not least because of the amorous couple shown embracing in the foreground. 


Although Bellows's art was rooted in realism, the variety of his subjects and his experiments with many color and compositional theories, and his loose brushwork, aligned him with modernism—as did his commitment to artists' freedom of expression and their right to exhibit their works without interference from academic dictates or juries.
A Stag at Sharkey's
1909
Oil on Canvas

51 x 63 1/4 in. (129.5 x 160.7 cm)




Bellows maintained a lifelong interest in sports, and his many depictions of boxers in the ring are his most familiar and iconic works. Stag at Sharkey’s (1909, Cleveland Museum of Art) depicts a prize fight at Tom Sharkey’s Athletic Club, a popular bar that was located directly across Broadway from Bellows’s studio at 66th Street. Because public prizefighting was illegal in New York at the time, club “members” could buy their way in each evening for a few dollars. The artist’s low vantage point places the viewer almost at ringside. 



Dempsey and Firpo - George Bellows
1924
Oil on canvas
51 x 63 1/4 in. (129.5 x 160.7 cm)

15 years after painting A Stag at Sharkey's the artist's style for Dempsey and Firpo has changed with smoothed-out brushwork, more precise modeling of the musculature and more stylized faces. This was one of his last paintings, he died the next year.
The backstory to "Dempsey and Firpo" is that Jack Dempsey was the biggest star of his day, from 1919, when he won the heavyweight title in a bloody victory over Jess Willard—a Kansas cowboy who outweighed him by more than 70 pounds—to 1927, when, in his last fight, he lost to Gene Tunney in an attempt to regain the title.Dempsey was unpopular with the public, because he avoided service in World War I. The fight with Luis Angel Firpo, "the Wild Bull of the Pampas," was probably the fight in which Dempsey began to win over the American public. Dempsey, who was 6-1 and seldom weighed more than 185, looked like a lightweight compared to the massive Argentinean, who was at least 6-3 and about 220. Firpo was billed as "the heavyweight Champion of South America." The fight, which took place on September 14, 1923 and has been called the most savage two rounds in boxing history. In the painting Firpo has just knocked Dempsey out of the ring. Spectators lifted him back up and Dempsey went on to win by a knock-out.



Shore House
1911
Oil on canvas
40 x 42 in. (101.6 x 106.7 cm)


Bellows focused almost half of his oeuvre on marine and shore views, although these works are not as well-known as his city scenes. He completed Shore House (1911, private collection)—one of his earliest treatments of this sort of subject—from sketches he had made during his honeymoon in Montauk. This painting and others like it pay homage to Winslow Homer, some of whose New England seascapes were in the Metropolitan’s collection by 1911 and were available for study. Such works by Bellows, with their celebration of the sea and sense of isolation, remind us that he was a classmate of Edward Hopper (who was also born in 1882), another modern American realist who appreciated Homer’s achievements.



Massacre at Dinant
1918
Oil on canvas
49 1/2 x 83 in. (125.7 x 210.8 cm)


In 1918, Bellows made five large oils and 16 lithographs that recall alleged atrocities against civilians by the German army at the beginning of World War I. These works invoke the legacy of the Spanish painter Francisco de Goya’s famous depictions of the horrors of the battlefield, Disasters of War (1810–20), which were made a century earlier in response to Napoleon’s invasion of Spain. Goya’s prints were often on display in New York and Bellows would have been aware of them. In Massacre at Dinant (1918, Greenville County Museum of Art), Bellows refers to the mass murder of 674 civilians by German troops in Belgium. Although the soldiers are barely visible, their bloody bayonets and rifles appear at the left. The bodies of dead women and children fill the foreground, and helpless clergy are shown in the center. Exceedingly brutal, Bellows’s war images are shocking to view all in one room and in their large scale. 



(Wife) Emma at the Piano
1914

Oil on panel
28 3/4 x 37 in. (73 x 94 cm)


Bellows painted many portraits of women that offer a compelling counterpoint to the violent, predominantly male world he recorded in his better-known boxing canvases. Bellows’s wife, Emma, was his artistic muse and he painted her in many guises. He wrote passionately to her: “Can I tell you that your heart is in me and your portrait is in all my work? What can a man say to a woman who absorbs his whole life?” 



The Studio
1919
Oil on canvas
48 x 38 in. (121.9 x 96.5 cm)
When Bellows died from a ruptured appendix at the age of forty-two, his career was a work in progress. His first retrospective was a 1925 memorial show at the Metropolitan Museum in NY. This current exhibition, the first of its scope to be devoted to Bellows in nearly half a century, offers a view of the exciting yet challenging years of the early twentieth century through the eyes of a brilliant observer. 


Emma and Her Children1923
Oil on canvas
59 1/4 x 65 3/8 in. (150.5 x 166.1 cm)


During what were to be the last years of his life, Bellows spent the summers in Woodstock, New York, a rural arts community in the Catskill Mountains. There he communed with nature, the local townspeople, and a close circle of family and artist-friends. His most important works from the period were the monumental figure paintings he executed with old-master grandeur. Traditional in subject and highly organized in structure, they often referenced well-known paintings that he knew from the Metropolitan Museum’s collection or had seen in reproductions. Emma and her Children (1923, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) shows his wife and two daughters elegantly attired, sitting on a sofa in an arrangement that calls to mind Auguste Renoir’s Madame Charpentier and her Children, Georgette-Berthe and Paul-Émile-Charles, which entered the Metropolitan’s collection in 1907. Painting this monumental portrait just weeks after his mother died, Bellows enlisted a somber palette and stoic poses that invoke the Old Master canvases he admired more than the lightness of Impressionism. 

Mrs. T in Cream Silk, No. 1
1919
Oil on canvas
48 x 38 in. (121.9 x 96.5 cm)
Rain on the River
1908
Oil on canvas
32 x 38 in. (81.3 x 96.5 cm)


The Hudson River and adjacent Riverside Park often inspired Bellows. For Rain on the River (1908, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design), the artist positioned himself on a rocky overlook and showed the river below shrouded in mist. A pedestrian navigates a flooded footpath, and smoke billows around a train that is pulling into a shed. Bellows’s contemporaries, who were accustomed to the light and sunny urban views favored by the American Impressionists, would have been startled by this gritty urban subject. 
Pennsylvania Excavation
1907
Oil on canvas
33 7/8 x 44 in. (86 x 111.8 cm)
New York's Penn Station was but a hole-in-the-ground at the time of this painting.

New York
1911
Oil on canvas
42 x 60 in. (106.7 x 152.4 cm)


New York (1911, National Gallery of Art), one of Bellows’s few depictions of the heart of the city rather than its edges, captures the tumult of a busy intersection in winter. Looming skyscrapers obliterate all but a tiny patch of sky. Pedestrians of every social class scurry along the sidewalks. Horse-drawn carriages, delivery carts, and trolleys pack the streets. Men with shovels work to remove any trace of the recently fallen snow. 


Polo at Lakewood
1910
Oil on canvas
45 1/4 x 63 1/2 in. (114.9 x 161.3 cm)


He painted Polo at Lakewood (1910, Columbus Museum of Art) after attending a match on the estate of railroad tycoon Jay Gould, in Lakewood, New Jersey. Bellows was fascinated by the contrast between the game’s violence and the carefully groomed riders, ponies, and spectators. 

Blue Snow, The Battery
1910
Oil on canvas
34 x 44 in. (86.4 x 111.8 cm)
In addition to being a gifted painter, Bellows was one of the most accomplished American lithographers. It is therefore not surprising that he executed the most forceful image of himself as a lithograph. His Self-portrait (1921, Collection of Max and Heidi Berry) shows him working on a lithographic stone in the balcony studio in his home on East 19th Street. The scalloped edges of the mirror in which he observes himself frame his reflection and remind us of the printmaker’s challenge: to draw in reverse the image he ultimately seeks. 
(Sources: Images were provided by the press department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These images fall under the © Copyright of the respective museums and collections from which they were borrowed, used here with permission.)



FOOD:
The Juicing Revolution!




Juicing has become a huge trend, ever since Joe Cross' video: "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" went viral on "Netflix". The point is to reduce calories, exercise and drink only freshly created vegetable and fruit juice mixtures during a one week to two month juice fast.


A sample of the video is at the bottom of the issue and below are some of Joe's juicing recipes.

Joe's Juicing Recipes

Mean Green
(THIS IS THE STAR OF THE VIDEO)
1 Bulk of kale
4 Stalks of celery
1 Cucumber 
2 granny smith apples
½ lemon
Ginger root (thumb sized)

Apple-Pear
1 Apple
2 Pears
1 Piece Ginger (thumb sized)

Carrot-Kale Combo
1 Green Apple
3 Handfuls spinach
6-8 Kale Leaves
4 Large Carrots
1 Piece Ginger (thumb sized)

Green Lemonade
1 Green Apple
3 Handfuls Spinach
6-8 Kale Leaves
½ Cucumber
4 Celery Stalks
½ Lemon

All Green
Use as much greens as needed
Romaine Hearts
Kale or Collards
Spinach
2 Handfuls Parsley
2-3 Celery Stalks
½ Lemon
1 Piece Ginger (thumb sized)

Apple-Beet-Carrot
1 Apple
2 Beets
3 Large Carrots
1 Piece Ginger (thumb sized)
Spinach / Kale – (optional)

Spinach-Fennel-Cucumber
1 Fennel Bulb
1 Cucumber
2-3 Celery Stalks
Loads of Spinach

Joe recommends the Breville juicer, he probably owns a large stake in the company, but their advantage is they clog less than other brands when it comes to leafy green vegetables.


The most popular model of the recommended Breville juicers.



Until later,
Jack
ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness, the Arts and Food." ™ All rights reserved. Concept, Original Art, Text & Photographs are © Copyright 2013 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All gallery, museum, fair or festival photographs were used with permission. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.


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