Light & Color

Vose Gal­leries fea­tures over 50 works from im­por­tant Amer­i­can pain­ters

American Fine Art Magazine - - My View - By John O’hern

Vose Gal­leries fea­tures over 50 works from im­por­tant Amer­i­can pain­ters

Vose Gal­leries in Bos­ton is putting to rest the fear some col­lec­tors have of pur­chas­ing works on pa­per. Light & Color: 150Years on Pa­per, fea­tur­ing Frank W. Ben­son &

His Con­tem­po­raries, opens April 21 and continues through May 26.

Artists as early as the 1870s pre­sented works on pa­per as fin­ished works of art rather than stud­ies and their vi­brancy holds up to­day.

Al­fred Thomp­son Bricher (18371908) was born in Portsmouth, New Hamp­shire, and, es­sen­tially self-taught, he later set up a stu­dio down the coast in New­bury­port, Mas­sachusetts. He be­gan paint­ing in oils and later turned to water­color with the same at­ten­tion to detail and in­ten­sity of color in his mar­itime scenes. He en­joyed suc­cess dur­ing his ca­reer and at an 1892 exhibition sold 71 wa­ter­col­ors and four oils. In­ter­est in his work waned, how­ever, with the ar­rival of im­pres­sion­ism and other Euro­pean move­ments around the turn of the cen­tury. Au­tumn Gust shows him at his best with his ren­di­tion of light and color, shad­ows mod­u­lat­ing both.

The colors in Au­tumn Gust, de­spite its age, at­test to the longevity of works on pa­per when prop­erly cared for. In the in­tro­duc­tion to the cat­a­logue for the exhibition, Mar­cia L.vose, gallery vice pres­i­dent, dis­cusses how to care for them.

Laura Coombs Hills (1859-1952) was born in New­bury­port, Mas­sachusetts. She be­gan paint­ing minia­ture water­color portraits on ivory and, in 1904, won a gold medal at the St. Louis Ex­po­si­tion. In the 1920s she turned to mak­ing pastel flower stud­ies both in plein air and by a win­dow in the stu­dio and even ef­fused about the ef­fects of elec­tric light. She was par­tic­u­lar about her pastel sticks and pur­chased them in Paris or had her friends buy them for

her on their trips abroad.the breadth of color choices was greater than what she could find in the U.S. She was ac­cused of break­ing all the rules of color but replied, “I don’t know about the rules, I was ex­per­i­ment­ing.”

Wal­ter Launt Palmer (1854-1932) also worked in pastel on pa­per. He was born in Al­bany, Newyork and showed at the Na­tional Academy of De­sign when he was only 18. Palmer had a head start on his art ca­reer as the son of the famed sculp­tor Eras­tus Dow Palmer and taking lessons from Fred­eric Church when he was in his teens. Church said,“…wal­lie is the com­ing man so far as I can see, and I would like to be of use to him be­fore he gets so far ad­vanced as to not re­quire my aid.” He was known for his snow-laden trees over run­ning streams pri­mar­ily in oil on can­vas. On the Flykill, 1911, a pastel, he cap­tures the shim­mer­ing re­flec­tions of the set­ting sun on the stream as well as on the snow, which our brains read as white de­spite the abun­dance of color.

The exhibition also includes artists work­ing on pa­per from the gal­leries’ con­tem­po­rary re­al­ist di­vi­sion. Among them is Liz Hay­wood-sul­li­van who has been a Sig­na­ture Mem­ber of the Pastel So­ci­ety of Amer­ica since 1998, and from 2013 to 2017 was pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Pastel So­ci­eties. She is known for the dra­matic light­ing and the skies in her pastel land­scapes and cityscapes.

Frank W. Ben­son (1862-1951), Hawk, 1940. Water­color on pa­per, 21½ x 16½ in., signed lower left: ‘F. W. Ben­son / 40 to R.L.’.

Liz Hay­wood-sul­li­van, Evening of In­ter­est­ing

Con­ver­sa­tion, 2017. Pastel on pa­per, 36 x 24 in, signed lower left: ‘Hay­wood-sul­li­van’.

Wal­ter Launt Palmer (1854-1932), On the Flykill, ca. 1911. Pastel on pa­per on panel, 30 x 16 in., signed lower left: ‘W. L. PALMER’.

Laura Coombs Hills (1859-1952), Lit­tle White Rose. Pastel on pa­per on panel, 10¼ x 8¾ in., signed up­per left: ‘Laura Hills’.

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