I’m sorry and embarrassed that I waited so long to see the fascinating exhibition, Shipwreck: Winslow Homer and “The Life Line” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), but fortunately it has been held over until Jan. 1, 2013. It offers much more than a look at a single theme by a single painter, albeit the greatest of his American contemporaries. Firstly, the exhibition reminds us of the pervasive influence of the sea in 19th-century, American life. It was considerably more than a means of inter-continental travel. The sea was the underpinning of much of the economy, as is reflected ... More » »
The plane to Chicago for the College Art Association (CAA) Annual Meeting left from a concourse I rarely use so I saw different art than usual as part of the airport’s Exhibition Program, which certainly provides the best distraction I’ve found at Philadelphia International Airport. Nick Kripal’s Swarm was a terra cotta landscape of an alternative, multi-culti character with forms cribbed from the kitchen cabinets; what looked like a Moorish dome turned out to have been cast from a pudding mold! I’d love to see him do animations based on them.
Winslow Homer Boy in Boat, Gloucester (1880/81) transparent watercolor, with touches of opaque watercolor and scraping, over graphite, on moderately thick, rough-textured, ivory wove paper, The Art Institute of Chicago, photo courtesy of the museum. I never knew much about watercolor as a technique other than the fact that its early association with amateur painters had prejudiced many art historians, collectors and museums not to treat it sufficiently seriously. Still I recognize major accomplishment when I see it and Winslow Homer is unquestionably at the summit of the field. Sorry to say I didn’t get to the Art Institute of ... More » »