Landscape painting featuring a row of trees in the middle distance, separating a glowing sky above and a meadow in the foreground.
Best known for his landscapes and seascapes painted in a Tonalist manner, Tryon’s paintings typically feature a broken row or group of trees in front of a lustrous sky at sunset or sunrise with a marsh or pasture in the foreground, painted in muted autumnal hues.
In “Twilight” Tryon depicts a wooded meadow veiled in the misty atmosphere of deepening twilight, dominated by muted grays, browns, and blues. Tryon studied in Paris and this work illustrates the influence the French Barbizon style of painting had on his work, with its emphasis on rural scenes drawn directly from nature accentuated by a sense of mood and shadow.
Landscape scene depicting trees silhouetted against a reddening sky with a dead fallen tree trunk lying diagonally across the foreground.
Influenced by the Barbizon school of painting in France, Inness worked to interpret rather than simply record nature; his loose brushwork, rich palette and use of light evoke palpable atmospheric effects and a strong sense of mood.
This work exhibits many of the trademarks of Inness’ late style: diaphanous paint surfaces, soft vibrating colors, softened edges, and a less panoramic landscape creating a more intimate, personal experience for the viewer; which along with a dramatic juxtaposition of sky and earth and saturated color adds a sense of immediacy and intensity to the work.
Landscape painting with green marshy field in foreground, a grouping of trees in the middle ground on right side of canvas, and blue sky with patches of soft clouds above.
Typical of many of Eaton’s landscape paintings, “Twilight” depicts a marshy meadow with a grouping of trees executed in a Tonalist manner. Dominated by dark, neutral hues in grays, browns and blues, Eaton depicts the landscape with a sense of atmosphere or mist giving the work on an overall tone of wistfulness or nostalgia. Many 19th century American artists, like Eaton, felt a sense of longing for nature untouched by the hand of man, during a time when the Industrial Revolution brought about the clearing of enormous areas of land. The title itself, “Twilight,” is an allusion to the time when something is declining or approaching its end and darkness begins.
Portrait of a woman with dark hair and fair skin seated in a chair wearing a blue dress amid a sparse background of blues, greens, and browns; her body is positioned at an angle towards the right, while she looks directly out at the viewer.
This work is typical of many of Dewing’s paintings, depicting young, fine-boned, elegant women wearing the highest fashions of the day amid a sparse background and executed in muted tones of blues and grays lending to the overall mood of the piece. The painting is a portrait of Miss Minnie Clark, a 28-year-old working-class, Irish immigrant, who worked as an artist’s model in turn-of-the-century New York. She was in reasonable demand, and was considered to be very beautiful and the picture of youthful vigor, but in reality she was in poor health and could not afford the medicines she needed. She was a widow, and she modeled because she had no other skills with which to support her two children. Eventually Minnie married an architect and vanished into the American middle class.
Two abstracted bust-length figures, one male and one female, look directly at the viewer with large smiles against a tan background filled with swirling lines and scribbles. The face and eyes of each figure are outlined in thick green, the mouths in thick yellow. The “whites” of the eyes are red, while the pupils are circles of pale purple. From the eyes of the male figure, purple paint drips down his checks; in the female figure, the paint drips upwards.
In “Ups and Downs” two figures, one male and one female, confront the viewer with large smiles. The work gets its title from the purple “tears” that drip down the face of the male figure and upwards on the female figure.
Black and white photograph in circular format depicting four young African American girls wearing floral dresses lounging on a blanket in the grass.
“After Manet” functions as a critique of Edouard Manet’s “Olympia” of 1863 and “Le Dejeuner sur L’Herbe” 1862-63 which depict nude women, who are presumably courtesans or prostitutes. Weems feels Manet objectifies these women, portraying them as merely objects of beauty for man’s pleasure, and her work “After Manet” is a careful response, both formally and thematically. In Weems’ work the girls evoke a sense of youthful confidence. Unlike Manet, Weems presents her subject as empowered, visions of freedom and optimism, owned by no one.
Signed and dated in pencil, l.r.: Glenn Lignon '92 Numbered in pencil, l.l.: 27/45 Printed inscription: I FEEL MOST COLORED WHEN I AM THROWN AGAINST A SHARP WHITE BACKGROUND... (from text by Zora Neale Hurston)
Signature: incised in the image l.r.: Jacob Lawrence 53
Inscriptions and Marks: on removable backing board, l.l., written sideways with a blue colored pencil “#15”; u.c., with a blue colored pencil surrounded by an oval “112”; on liner, l.l., written sideways with a blue colored pencil “#15”; on tape covering upper member of the inner frame; u.r., written with a red colored pencil “44”
Eight abstracted figures (three kneeling in front and five standing in back) wearing orange tank tops and white shorts face the viewer; two basketballs and five trophies between figures in the foreground. Figures stand in front of a background of fragmented, arched and circular areas of color in blues and golds.
Jacob Lawrence drew upon his surroundings in Harlem, NY for influence and inspiration. His work often contains people in the African American community and their struggles, dreams and triumphs. “Champions” depicts a portrait of an African American basketball team resplendent with their five trophies. The schematic designs, flat space, angular figures, and fragmented, highly patterned surfaces of this piece are typical of his style.
A female nude reclining on a bed wearing one yellow slipper on her left foot, a gold bracelet on her right arm and a black ribbon tied in a bow around her neck. An African American woman in a blue dress stands behind her holding a bouquet of yellow and white flowers. A small monkey sits at the foot of the bed. All subjects look directly at the viewer.
This work borrows its subject matter, title and composition directly from Manet’s Olympia painted in 1863, which depicts a nude mistress, or more likely a prostitute, reclining on a bed; behind her is an African American woman, presumably a maid, presenting her with a bouquet of flowers, while a black cat sits at the foot of the bed.
In this work, Mel Ramos blurs the line between the fine art tradition of the aestheticized female nude and contemporary pornography, suggested by his hyper-realist treatment of the nude, revealing her tan lines, her blonde bob, and her quasi-seductive gaze, similar to what one might find in any number of pin-ups girls. Ramos updates not only the reclining nude, but also the older black servant, who becomes a young woman with a stylish afro. He further exoticizes the scene by replacing Manet’s black cat, a common 19th century symbol for prostitute, with a small monkey that, along with the two women, makes direct eye contact with the viewer.
Assemblage of found objects: salvaged wood frame, four portrait photographs of African American females, nine thread samples, and one hand mirror hanging on a decorative brass hook to the viewer's right of the frame.
From Betye Saar's series "Colored -- Consider the Rainbow," begun in 2001 in which she tackled the issue of racism through works focusing on skin tone and forms of discrimination and hierarchies of race within the African American community. This work references the color spectrum through actual photographs as well as pigmented thread spools, a proverb about color disctinctions, and a hand mirror inviting viewers to reflect on their own skin color.