Power + glory

By KEN GREENLEAF  |  April 30, 2008

This period in American art doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Bellows and his friends were working in an intellectual framework that had even then been superseded by the modernist developments in Europe. For them, the subject of the work of art was still its primary focus. Modernist art, as it developed from the Impressionists and Cézanne through to Matisse and Picasso and on to abstraction, showed that the work of art itself was the center of the relationship between the artist and the viewer, and that the subject, if there was one, was secondary.

But the fact that Bellows’s direction in art was supplanted to a great degree by modernism doesn’t mean that it wasn’t valuable. This show gives us a welcome chance to go back and look again.

Ken Greenleaf can be reached at ken.greenleaf@gmail.com.

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