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Indepth Arts News:

"Living with Landscapes: Paintings from Private Collections"
2001-10-05 until 2001-12-30
Hudson River Museum
Yonkers, NY, USA

With increasing industrialization in the late 19th century, there arose a deep nostalgia for unspoiled nature and a strong sense of national pride in America's pristine wilderness areas. Artists were attracted to places like the Catskills, Lake George, the Adirondacks and the White Mountains, which were an easy trip from New York City.  The collectors of landscapes from the turn of the 20th-century bring the outdoors inside, living with works that hold a central place in American art. Surrogates of nature, the paintings show the natural environment, then largely untouched. With the loss of wilderness areas and the rise of the preservation movement, these landscapes continue to fascinate.

Among the paintings in Living with Landscapes is Homer Dodge Martin's oil painting A Wilderness Pool, a classic Hudson River School scene that shows Martin's interest in the dramatic elements of wilderness scenery. The work's vertical format emphasizes the drama of the crevice and the waterfall.  While the location is unknown, it was most likely in the Adirondacks. Works such as Martin's were sketched outdoors and then painted a few months later in New York City studios. Another painting, Maurice Prendergast's watercolor Farm House in New England, shows his tendency to flatten forms and use bright colors and lively, intricate patterns. His brushstrokes are broken up in a decorative way.


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