George Wesley Bellows (1882 - 1925)
Linked with the urban realists of the Ashcan school, Bellows gained renown for his direct and unsentimental portrayals of early twentieth-century city life. The Columbus, Ohio-born artist played semi-pro baseball before moving to New York, and his lifelong fascination with athletics led him to explore the then illicit world of prizefighting, capturing on canvas the rawness and excitement of the often brutal confrontations. Bellows also painted portraits of friends and family members, as well as seascapes and landscapes, particularly of the rugged Maine coast and the area around Woodstock, New York, where he spent summers after 1920.
One of the few American artists of his era who did not study abroad, Bellows attended classes at the Art Students League of New York with Robert Henri. In addition to his oil painting, he worked as an illustrator to supplement his income, and began to produce lithographs after 1916. Though trained in America, he was keenly interested in European art, and had a hand in the organization of the groundbreaking 1913 Armory Show. Bellows' unsentimental early portrayals of boxers and tenement dwellers are executed in a loose, impressionistic painting style, using bold brushstrokes and a subdued palette. His later works reveal the influence of modern theories of color and composition in which he immersed himself before his untimely death from complications of appendicitis at the height of his career.
American Works on Paper 1880-1930 - 20 October - 19 December, 2009
Beyond Native Shores - A Widening View of American Art, 1850 to 1975 - 1 April - 10 May, 2003
George Bellows - Lithographs From The Collection Of Dr. and Mrs. Harold Rifkin - 7 May - 5 June, 1999