| Keny Galleries
includes some greats
Sunday, March 15,
2009 7:36 AM
By Christopher A. Yates
For The Columbus Dispatch
strong exhibit of more than 30 works at Keny Galleries samples a broad swath
of style and vision.
Included in "American
Master Works on Paper (1882-1982)" are several pieces produced by iconic
figures of American art history.
Mostly representational, the
show offers diverse examples of watercolor, printmaking and drawing.
Andrew Wyeth's watercolor The
Green Dory is striking for its simplicity and harmonious hues. Shades of
blue and green become the water, sky and atmosphere.
The painting depicts a man
preparing to launch his boat. Wyeth focuses on the ordinary to reveal the
essential character of place. In the process, he documents a timeless moment.
Every brushstroke is measured and precise; nothing is labored or overworked.
The result is mesmerizing.
With energetic reserve,
Elizabeth Nourse produced the impressionist pastel The New Shoe,
featuring a tender moment as a mother wrestles a shoe onto an infant's foot.
Drawn in mostly neutral brown on a gray background, the focus is the child's
blue dress. Slight accents of blue in the background help lead the eye through
the elegant composition.
Winslow Homer's small charcoal
sketch Scarborough Beach is a surprise. Drawn with subtle value
shifts, a group of fishermen stand together awash in light and atmosphere.
Although the narrative is unclear, they look toward the sea expectantly.
Several landscape images steal
the show. Alice Schille's watercolors Colorful Trees and Mediterranean
Vista With Boat are among the best. Both pieces rely on expressive color
pushed to an almost-fauvist level.
Colors are made all the more
intense because of placement: Warm sets off cool, and cool sets off warm. With
an energetic brushstroke, the scenes seem windblown and saturated in light.
With great sensitivity to line
and form, James A.M. Whistler's etching-drypoint Rotherhithe is
Capturing the energy of the
city, Jacob Lawrence's lithograph On the Way features an urban
street. Graphic and stylized, his work is a record of the black experience in
Other strong pieces include
Gustave Baumann's woodcut Summer Clouds, Edna Boies Hopkins' woodcut Cineraria
(Purple Zinnias), Jane Peterson's gouache painting Boat Landing,
Edgartown and Agnes Weinrich's woodcut In the Garden.
work has a distinctive story. Like taking a stroll with old friends, the
exhibit transports and enriches our experience of artists we know and some we