Rough and tumble with Bellows, naughty Beardsley and robbery with violins too!

Stag at Sharkeys by George Bellows

Belated birthdays  The candles have long been blown out on these artists birthdays, but as a way of catching up with my posts they provide a good excuse to write!  August 11th saw the birthday of American realist artist George Bellows (b 1882 – 1925) (though there seems to be some discrepancy on his August birthdate according to Wikipedia)
George Wesley Bellows attended Ohio State University from 1901 – 1904 . He  played baseball and painted illustrations for magazines whilst studying there.  In  1904 he became a student of Robert Henri at the New York School of Art, became one of Henri’s ‘Eight’ and thus  becoming associated with a group of artists who at that time were painting American  society in a modern down to earth, kitchen sink manner.   This group came to be known as the Ashcan School.

Pennsylvania Station George Bellows

When Henri organised an exhibition featuring mostly urban studies in 1908, Bellows became more interested in pursuing a career as a painter.  He was to prove successful and became very famous and nationally recognised.  His work typically depicts rough working class people and chaos  and have lots of atmosphere.  The artist is mostly known for his boxing scenes which are laden with movement and rough brushstrokes.

The  artist received many commissions from the social elite of New York.  Socially conscious Bellows also became associated with the ‘Lyrical Left’ group of artists.  He taught and contributed drawings and prints to the socialist journal ‘The Masses’. A lot has been written about this interesting artist’s life.  There’s also a wonderful article about him and his work  by Jonathan Jones, The Guardian  here

Earlier in the month it was the British illustrator and writer

Salome by Beardsley

Aubrey Beardsley‘s birthday  (21 August 1872 – 16 March 1898). Heres a link to a previous post I did about Beardsley here   and some lovely art prints from Beardsley.artpassions

stolen pen and ink drawing by Rembrandt

A couple of weeks ago the British newspapers were full of reports about the riots and looting which have gone on in the UK.  In Los Angeles yet another art masterpiece has been looted from a private art exhibit at the Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey whilst the curator was distracted by a well planned diversion.  The work is believed to be The Judgement by 17th century Dutch artist Rembrandt Van Rijn is estimated to be worth $250,000.  The good news about the painting is that it has been recovered a few days later in a church in San Fernando Valley after an anonymous tip-off.  Read about it here

But, back to today and today’s birthday is American Dadaist and Surrealist artist Emmanuel Radnitzsky, better known as Manray (b. 1890 – 1970)  The wonderful ManRay trust website can be found here 

An earlier post of mine which celebrates the artist’s birthday can be found here. Manray is esteemed in the art world for his avant-garde photography – especially renown for his fashion and portrait work, though he regarded himself as a painter above all.  Manray is still a very well regarded and influential artist even now.

George Bellows information here

George Bellows Lithographs and drawings can be found here

Stag at Sharkeys image from here

Men of the Docks image from here

Pennsylvania Sstation image from here

Salome image  from here

More Stolen Rembrandt details here

The Judgement drawing from here

Manray Violin from here

All with thanks!

12 Responses to “Rough and tumble with Bellows, naughty Beardsley and robbery with violins too!”

  1. I like the art of the 20’s that had a surreal futuristic bent. Other areas were very urban and re the common man. I like the 1930’s stuff, Depression art. It is very much like what I call Soviet workers art- glorifying the proletariat. Both decades have art deco. There is a uniqueness because they were social expressions of the times just like the protest music of the 60’s. Although most rap music of today is vulgar trash the tamer stuff has a social message that people over 40 never seem to get.

    • Yes, I love the stylishness of the art deco period myself. Also the work which was done in the Fin de Siecle period, referring to the end of the end of the 19th century – full of decadence in Europe. Art Nouveau, Symbolism, Munch, Toulouse Lautrec etc. I also like some of the work done by the War artists especially World War 11 artist John Piper (whom I haven’t written about yet) Any period of great change in history seems to provoke creativity, either born out of regret, live for the moment, kicking over the traces and a general hope for a new way of life. The Great Depression of 1930s America produced a lot of great art including the Regionalists and public art projects which employed artists. The Chrysler building and the Empire State building were completed in the 1930s. Also Pollock and De Kooning were making an exciting new art. Although I find this a fascinating period, it must have been a very hard time for most people. The film ‘Of Mice and Men’ is a good example of how people just drifted looking for work. Lets hope this recession isn’t history repeating itself : -(

  2. A great little post here, very interesting to read for someone who doesn’t spend that much time with art. Bellow’s paintings have a raw power to them. Manray’s certainly would fit in with much that’s published today online in the photography websites. He inspired them no doubt.

    • I love the raw power in Bellows art too Musicman – such life and movement! (Bellows and Iggy) Manray was so innovative and original really when we look back at his work and how it has influenced photography today. I see art everywhere, we are saturated with posters, TV and the way music is presented – what a dull world colourless world this would be without it 🙂

  3. I can stare at Bellows’ brustrokes for hours! He makes rough and tumble come to life and I have always liked studying oil painters who paint more monochromatically. Great post Lynda, once again. You teach me! I go digging for more when you post on an artist.

    • Aw thanks Leslie! I have long been an admirer of those of the wild brushstrokes like Bellows and Butler Yeats – so much life and energy! I’m falling far behind with these posts lately though and I will try to rectify this – I have lots of new artists to explore on here before Christmas 🙂

  4. and ………..hmmmmmmmm…. not so American. I find US art awfully depressing, terrible, even insulting. There was a time when I thought that Chagall was the only great and surprising exception only to find out that we was Russian.

    But there is US music and there used to be US newspapers and lawyers. The newspapers went belly up and the lawyers….don’t mention it.

    • I must admit, I haven’t really included a lot of American Art on here but that’s because I tend to write on here about what I know. But there is a wealth of Amercan artists that I haven’t really touched on yet apart from the Regionalists. There’s Whistler, Pollock, Mary Casset, The Photo Secession photographers – as well as new and exciting artists. I really must include more Amercian art. Now US music – well I don’t think that can be beaten – so original, passionate and sincere. I think Americans tend to be less restrained in their expression (music and the arts) and put a great show on, coupled with great showmanship. Much admired by me 🙂

  5. Bellows feels very dystopian… I like!

  6. wendywoo20 Says:

    That’s a wonderful post! Sorry it took me so long to get here, Lynda. I do like Manray’s photography. Was the link meant to take me to a nightclub?? It was / is quite a place! lol. Manray’s photos are quite dark and erotic at times, that explains my liking of them and him, I think!

    • Blimey! The link was one of those suggested ones that you get at the bottom of the post you are typing. Just clicked onto it …luckily the nightclub was closed Lol Think I’ll have to vet these suggestions in future – could be linking to all sorts 😀

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