M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE  ARTS

 

www.mfordcreech.com

 

 

“FINE ART” : BEYOND FASHION

 

"These days", many tell me that art styles have changed : Manet is "out", Warhol is "in";

and that the classics, old masters, and impressionism are currently "out of fashion".

However, I just cannot agree. 

 

"Fine art" at some levels is not all about fashion -

it is about a deep response to nature (internal or external) or an event,

possessing a mysterious quality that no one seems to be able to accurately articulate. 

No matter the medium, it has a superb quality of execution, depth of expressiveness, richness of content,

in painting arresting brushwork and color, and flawless composition -

all that by intent, not by accident. 

It has the power to make you stand riveted for a moment, transported in time, mood and thought. 

The best is universal and timeless - spanning the changing economies, politics and trends. 

In the opinion of now deceased Time-Life art critic Robert Hughes, contemporary art very well "expresses the times". 

"Fine Art"? : It was Hughes' belief that

it takes 100 years before we can know what may actually be termed "Fine Art".

 

Personally, I enjoy something of all periods and media - just far too many to relate.

Choices for every individual are always as personal as your best friend anyway! 

I am extremely drawn to the early Dutch masters -

"life" showing through in the faces of their subjects,

usually emerging mysteriously from a 70% dark canvas or panel. 

Below is a small portrait from my personal collection :

 

 

 

 

The late 19th / early 20th century Impressionist period is another favorite :

French Impressionism;

the works of Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla

(if you do not know his work, I strongly recommend a visit to the Museo Sorolla online);

and late19th / early 20th century American Impressionism.

The latter has an interesting compilation of input,

and perhaps why I have chosen the period to offer through this gallery. 

Many Americans - already well trained in this country - chose further study abroad - in Munich, Paris,

and some fortunate individuals with Sorolla in Spain. 

What they brought back was an added expertise in draftsmanship (to perfection - as automatic as driving a car), excellence in

composition, and from France, plein air lighting, the breaking up of color, and short energetic brushstrokes - often curved. 

When these painters returned to America, a particular "American spirit" emerged in their works -

in part by including strong contrasting blacks in the palette -

so appropriate to the new industrial age and the energy of this country at the time. 

For me personally, American Impressionists' works often exceed the excitement to the eye of the softer French Impressionist works. 

These painters did for America what Sorolla did for Spain.

Below are a few of our impressionist works - from both sides of the Atlantic,

and from the late 19th century through today

- each offering addictive viewing in its own way

- each transcending time and the senses . 

Each image is linked to an accompanying detail page.

 

 

 

Martha Walter

American / Pennsylvania, 1875-1976

"Brittany"

The verso inscribed "Brittany", and estate numbered 272

Housed in an antique Stanford White style giltwood frame

 

Loosely painted on coarse canvas, depicting a Brittany nanny hovering over a child's bassinet,

the rich deep value and outlining reminiscent of the early paintings of Van Gogh.

"Martha Walter studied at the Pennsylvania Academy with William Merritt Chase.

Walter's early work shows the very strong influence of Chase and her use of rich saturated colors,

combined with her adept application of black paint, was very successful.

Black was a pigment extraordinarily difficult to master and often omitted in the general course of American Impressionism."

 

 

Hugh Bolton Jones

(NY / MD) 1848-1927

"Spring Reflections"

Oil on Canvas / Signed H. B. Jones, Lower Left

Housed in a Fine 22K Custom Reproduction Carved Frame

 

Hugh Bolton Jones remains one of my favorite painters.

Jones is often classified with the Hudson River School of painters.

However his works – this painting in particular – have a wonderful luminescence of color that goes beyond

most of the works of the school, moving into the higher key and clearer hue of the Impressionists,

yet retaining the exactness of the scene he depicted, sometimes with single hair brushes.

His ability to depict dead branches and foliage with integrity, yet beauty, has continually

fascinated me.   They become more like lace.

In looking at such early autumn or early spring scenes, I often see Jones' work in my head.

 

 

Ronald Ossory Dunlop RA

Ireland, (1894 – 1973)

"Summer Landscape"

Gouache on paper

Image size : 14.75" x 19.25" / Framed Size : 21.75" x 26.25"

 

A vigorously painted impressionist landscape,

executed with searching and sometimes scrumbling brushstrokes,

depicting two houses amidst trees and an approaching lane.

Irish author and painter in oil of landscapes, seascapes, figure studies, portraits and still life;

described by Frances Spalding, British art historian, critic and biographer,

as an 'alla prima' painter of traditional subjects.

Dunlop's work is in a number of public galleries, including the Tate and National Portrait Gallery.

 

 

 

Robert Cozad Henri

(NY / PA) 1865-1929

"Final Touches" , December 25, 1925,

Pencil on Paper

Pencil signed l/c : 'Robert Henri' / Dated Lower Left : "Dec 25, 1925"

Numbered twice verso : F . 2  . F-05.61

 

  Most of us are well familiar with Robert Henri - 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 Students League, and the New York School of Art.

  Henri's 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.

Henri encouraged many students toward independence and personal expression, and

toward translating their reactions to subject matter and their feelings directly into their paintings. 

His drawings are always  particularly expressive - with a "searching" linear energy.

But when I first saw this drawing, I was also reminded of Berthe Morisot's portrait of Julie Manet

with a cat ("Fillette au Chat" ) -  the shape and manner of the face and hair of the central figure,

and the dark of the bodice, almost echoing the the cat (in reverse).  The resemblance is possibly coincidental -

  and just possibly not, as he would have been well familiar with Morisot's portrait

(shown on the detail page).

SOLD

 

 

 

Theresa Ferber Bernstein

(NY / MA) 1890-2002

"Sunny Path, Central Park", 1917

Oil on Board

Provenance : Grand Central Art Galleries, NYC, 1988, with exhibition label verso

 

Boldly painted in the directional impasto manner, this small figurative image with extraordinary brushwork

depicts life in Central Park in the early 20th century. 

The strength of the work is exactly what Ms. Bernstein was so well known for :

"rapid, fluid brushwork, innovative color play, and fresh approach";

"plein-air landscape painting with startling color contrasts and bright accents of light".

In 1910, Ms. Bernstein he became a member of the Ashcan School (mentioned above in the Henri listing).

It is said that her idol as a painter was indeed one of its founders, Robert Henri. 

Although she never studied directly under him, I believe his influence to be visible is this work :

 the palette, the composition, and the fully loaded energetic brushstrokes,

that depict entire figures in gesture with only a few strokes of the brush.

 

 

Norwood Creech

Tennessee / Arkansas, Contemporary

"In The Shade, Adamson Road, Poinsett County, Arkansas"

Oil and Charcoal on Linen / Painted on Location

Signed and Dated Lower Right

Housed in a 22K Carved Giltwood Custom Frame

Sight Size : 20" High x 30" Wide / Framed Size : 36.5" High x 26.5" Wide

    

An exceptional painting in every respect,

this painting transforms a shady spot in a rural road -

one that we might pass by daily and take completely for granted -

into a dynamic play of bright sunlight, and transparent luminous shade;

of flat vibrant fields, with a few upright trees and poles -

even one almost disappearing crooked pole; of energetic brushwork and wandering line,

with a sense of unbroken open and quiet.

The setting is near Marked Tree, Poinsett County,

in the flat sweeping farmlands of Eastern Flood Plains of Arkansas :

mostly fields there - not too many trees, save around homes, or distant lines of trees that divide fields.

If the painting extended a bit to the right, you would see an ancient Indian Mound (McClellan Mound)

a distant and very different history of this land.

 

 

Everett Lloyd Bryant

(PA / DL / CA) 1864-1945

"At The Opera"

Oil on Canvas / From the Estate of the Artist, with Artist's Stamp Verso

 

What can I say?  What a delightful painting!  Pure recreation for the eye!

Upon first viewing, I actually thought I was looking at a brothel -

the ladies were just a little too underdressed for the c1915-20 time period.

But a closer inspection quickly revealed a theatrical performance - likely a New York opera or operetta.

The stretchers have no inscriptions; however, Bryant painted a number of "themed" works - ballets, balls, and such.

So we took the privilege of naming it as Bryant had named similar paintings.

The pointillist painted backdrop appears to represent a Mediterranean grotto interior - statues in the corner niches,

and portals onto a balcony before moon rising over the sea and mountains.

The interior scene seems to be a cabaret - the men in formal tails, some ladies rather scantily clad.

The work itself brings forth a smile, each time I look at it.  It is not just the miraculous execution,

but the sense of humor and pure fantasy of the moment that just delights the senses - all of them.

If anyone out there can shed light on a likely performance -

the lady in the turquoise coat is obviously singing her heart out -

please do let us know. 

SOLD

 


 

Please email, or call, should you have any questions - or comments.
 

 

Millicent Ford Creech

 

 901-761-1163 (gallery) / 901-827-4668 (cell)

 

581 S. PERKINS ROAD / LAURELWOOD COLLECTION / MEMPHIS, TN 38117

Hours : Wed.-Sat. 11-6, or by appointment

Complimentary Gift Wrapping

 

mfcreech@bellsouth.net  or  mfordcreech@gmail.com

www.mfordcreech.com

 

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"Fine Art- Beyond Fashion", Impressionist paintings, American and European