Saturday, 8 February 2014

NG Buys Yankee

The National Gallery in London has broken two of its rules. 1) It bought its first ever painting by on American artist. It has always limited itself to European art. 2) It bought a work that is post 1900. Usually it leaves post-1900 works to Tate Modern, so they don't compete with each other at auction. Here is the painting that prompted the Gallery to break its rules: Men of the Docks (1912) by George Bellows, leading light of the Ashcan Painters. In 2011 the Gallery put on a small exhibition of the Ashcan Painters (CLICK). In 2013 the Royal Academy of Arts in London exhibited a major retrospective of Bellows' work (CLICK). The National Gallery lashed out £15.6m ($25.5m) for Men of the Docks in a deal with the Randolph College in Virginia (CLICK). The perspective of Bellow's painting of the snowy waterfront in Brooklyn is brilliant, but you can tell his concern is for the freezing dockers. "Will they get work today?"


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