28 Nov 2017

A Landmark Exhibition: An Alliance of Artists and Patrons on 57th Street

Art Students League of New York

Reviewed by William Corwin

A delicious peek into the djinn's cave that is the Art Students League collection is offered by this straightforward exhibition. Among timelines and architectural plans describing the philanthropic wranglings of the Vanderbilts and Carnegies that gave birth to America's most democratic art school are a sampling of the usual suspects of American academic painting: Kenyon Cox and William Merritt Chase. More exciting are the works by the oddballs and iconoclasts the League is famous for such as George Grosz's delectable satire The Crucified Ham (1950) which by itself makes seeing the show a must.

It's strange that there are is only one woman's painting among the archival works, but it is the crowning painting of the show: an atypical, stoic, early still-life of Georgia O'Keeffe, Dead Rabbit and Copper Pot (1908). It is an impressionistic canvas that one might hazard is a proto-O'Keeffe composition that melts into flickering daubs of color on closer inspection.

Exhibition A Landmark Exhibition: An Alliance of Artists and Patrons on 57th Street link
Start date 07 Nov 2017 (34 days ago)
End date 04 Dec 2017 (7 days ago)
Presenter Art Students League of New York link
Venue 215 West 57th Street, New York City, NY, USA map
Image George Grosz, The Crucified Ham, 1950, oil on canvas, 33 x 26 inches, permanent collection, The Art Students League of New York
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