Artists

Kiyochika and Whistler

“Kiyochika: Master of the Night” and “An American in London: Whistler and the Thames,” overlapping exhibitions at the Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington, D.C., complement each other beautifully and explore the poetics of the cityscape. The revelation for many viewers will be the work of Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915...

Hollis Dunlap

“Structure and Space,” the title of Hollis Dunlap’s recent show at Axelle Galerie in New York City, emphasized the formal values that undergird all good compositions, whether abstract or representational. Dunlap is a realist who knows how to create the illusion of depth and to give his figures convincing physical presence. He...

Beth Lipman

Beth Lipman works in glass, a medium usually associated with decorative—as opposed to fine—art. Lipman calls into question that distinction, making it seem both arbitrary and reductive. Her autonomous glass sculptures not only display a remarkable level of craftsmanship but also refined aesthetic judgment. Moreover, she stakes...

Steven J. Levin

Steven J. Levin understands the experience of looking at art. That understanding is evident both in his craftsmanship as a contemporary realist painter and in his celebration of museum spaces. Levin has a flair for the interior genre, especially for scenes in traditional-style galleries in institutions such as the Metropolitan...

Drawing the Line: The Sketches and Scribblings of Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper makes even the inanimate human. Rectangular blocks of sunlight cast on interior walls, the trellised porch of a rooming house, a city block of closed stores, an unpaved road bordered by pines, red gas pumps—all become not just objects on canvas, but ones with character. They are almost as expressive as the human entities...

William Trost Richards

“William Trost Richards: Visions of Land and Sea,” at the National Academy Museum in New York City, draws on a 1954 bequest by the artist’s daughter, Anna Richards Brewster. Most of the sixty works on view, many recently conserved, have not been previously exhibited. Richards (1833–1905), an...

Gallery 1261

A recent group show (March 1–April 15, 2013) at Gallery 1261 in Denver, Colorado, brought together works by fifteen respected contemporary realists. Still lifes predominated, and while traditionalist examples of the genre were well represented, there was an undercurrent of quirkiness occasionally verging on surrealism....

Kevin Fitzgerald

An exhibition of recent paintings by Kevin Fitzgerald, at Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, illustrates a paradox of the landscape genre. While rooted in the specifics of some natural place beloved of the artist, the landscape often blurs the line between representation and abstraction....

Anders Zorn

“Anders Zorn: A European Seduces America,” at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, explores a fascinating episode in the vibrant milieu of Belle Époque artists and patrons. While not as well known today as his contemporaries James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent, Zorn (1860–1920) had a similar bravura technique...

Vital Realism: Ferdinand Hodler’s Figures, Landscapes and Portraits

In virtually all Ferdinand Hodler’s self-portraits he looks us right in the eye, his presence defiantly real, his vitality evident in his skin, nuanced with color in 1900 and 1916, but bursting with color in 1912 and 1914—the skin of a man who often worked outdoors, painting the massive Swiss mountains. One sees a remarkably...

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