ROBERT (COZAD) HENRI
American (New York / Pennsylvania) 1865-1929
"Image of Figures Sitting at an Outdoor Cafe"
Graphite on Paper
Signed l.r. Robert Henri, above the initials J.C.L
Robert Henri remains one of America’s most important painters. He was a founder of the New York group of
painters - “The Eight” - later known as The Ashcan School. He was a highly influential teacher at New York’s
Art Student’s League, as well as several other schools, including the New York School of Art (formerly the Chase
School). His merits, museums and literature are far too vast to attempt in a few words. His collection of lectures,
published as The Art Spirit (1923), greatly influenced the course of American art because he encouraged many
students towards independence and personal expression, urging them, in particular, to pay close attention to their
feelings and reactions to subject matter and to translate these directly into their paintings. As a teacher he also
stressed self-reliance and self-respect.
Most know Henri for his strong portraits, lit usually with classical three-quarter lighting, producing powerful
contrasts, enhanced through slashing brush strokes and quite strong coloration against a muted deep background.
His figural drawings are equally powerful - the directional graphite marks with the same spontaneity, strength and
immediacy found in his finished paintings. Part of the enjoyment I find in drawings is seeing the artist actively
thinking on paper - the exploration, losing and finding what is important - all still visible. This thinking process is
quite often lost in a finished painting.
Image Size : 6.5" High x 4.25" Wide
For related works, please click below :
Birth place: Cincinnati, Ohio
Death place: Cincinnati, Ohio
Addresses: Philadelphia, 1891-99 / Paris, France; NYC, c1901
Studied: pupil of Eakins & Hovenden at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1886-88; Academy Julian, Paris, with
Bouguereau, Robert-Fleury, 1888-91; Ecole des Beaux-Arts; Spain; Italy.
Exhibited: National Academy of Design, 1878; at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1892-1929 (gold, 1914, 1929);
Salons of the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts, Paris, 1896, 1897, 1899; Pan-Am. Exposition, Buffalo, 1901 (medal);
St. Louis Exposition, 1904 (medal); Art Institute of Chicago, 1905 (prize); Boston Arts Club, 1907, 1908; Corcoran Gallery,
1907-28; Arts Club Philadelphia 1909 (gold); Buenos Aires Exposition, 1910 (medal); Armory Show, 1913; Pan.-Pacific
Exposition, San Francisco, 1915 (medal); Society Independent Artists, 1919-29; Wilmington Society Fine Arts, 1920 (prize);
"The Ashcan Artists and their New York," National Museum American Art, 1995
Member: Society of American Artists, 1903; Associate member of the National Academy of Design, 1904; National A,
1906; National Institute of Arts and Letters; Portrait Painters; National Arts Club; American Painters & Sculptors; Taos
Society Artists; Los Angeles Modern Art Society; Society Independent Artists; Boston Arts Club; New Society Artists;
Woodstock Art Association
Work: Luxembourg Gallery, Paris; Art Institute of Chicago; Carnegie Institute; Gallery Spartanburg, SC; Dallas Art Association;
Columbus Gallery Fine Art; New Orleans Art Association; Brooklyn Institute Museum; at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts;
Carolina Art Association; Kansas City Art Institute; San Francisco Institute Art; Metropolitan Museum Art;
National Arts Club; Minneapolis Institute Art; Buffalo Fine Art Academy; Oberlin College Gallery; Santa Fe Museum Art &
Architecture; Memphis Museum; Cincinnati Museum; Detroit Institute; Toledo Museum Art; Milwaukee Art Institute;
Telfair Academy; Corcoran Gallery Art; City Art Museum of St. Louis; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Wilmington
Society Fine Art; Butler Art Institute; Newark Museum; Decatur Art Institute; Canajoharie Art Gallery; Rochester Museum;
Montclair Art Museum; San Diego Museum; Des Moines Art Academy.
Comments: The outspoken leader of The Eight," later called the "Ashcan Group" who were largely responsible for creating
the famous Armory Show of 1913. He was a highly influential teacher at Art Student’s League; Valtin School; Ferrar School;
New York School of Art (previously known as the Chase School); and his own Henri School, all in NYC. His collection of
lectures, published as The Art Spirit (1923) greatly influenced the course of American art because he encouraged many students
towards independence and personal expression, urging them, in particular, to pay close attention to their feelings and reactions to
subject matter and to translate these directly into their paintings. As a teacher he also stressed self-reliance and self-respect.
In his paintings Henri employed a slashing, quick attack to record feeling and sensation. His portraits were
of young women, children, and foreigners. He painted Indian portraits in San Diego in 1913 and spent the summer of 1916 in
Santa Fe, painting, followed there by friends and students.
Who's Who, 1927; William Innes Homer, Robert Henri & His Circle (1969); Mecklenburg, Zurier, and Snyder, Metropolitan Lives: the Ashcan
Artists and their New York; Bennard B. Perlman, The Immortal Eight: American Painting from Eakins to the Armory Show, 1870-1913
(New York, 1962); Baigell, Dictionary; Peggy and Harold Samuels, 219-220; Eldredge, et al., Art in New Mexico, 1900-1945, 198; Fink,
American Art at the Nineteenth-Century Paris Salons, 355; Woodstock Art Association; Falk, Exhibition Record Series; Curtis, Curtis,
and Lieberman, 183."
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Robert Cozad Henri, "Image of Figures Sitting at an Outdoor Cafe", Graphite on Paper