Monday, October 4, 2010

Thanks to George Inness

I think I have come up with a reoccurring theme that I would like to visit occasionally: The tribute. Every now and again, I'll talk about an artist that has influenced me, that I love to look at or just plain inspires. I think George Inness is a good place to start.

He is oftentimes affiliated with the Hudson River School of 19th century American painters but his path veered off into a very personal direction as he aged. His early paintings were very much in keeping with the Hudson River School's vision of a New American Wilderness, one that was both unique to Europe's but also tamable and ordained by God to be a possession of humankind.

Later these
controlled, manicured landscapes evolved into very personal visions of specific poetic moments. Kind of like spiritual capsules of a moment of communion. He held similar religious and spiritual beliefs as Walden and Thoreau and there is a wonderful book that talks about this in much more depth than I will. With this change in ideas about landscape came a marked change in style and technique. To briefly summarize this change, he loosened up. His marks became more broad and "painterly". There was less emphasis on specific human influence in the landscape. It was a generalization of forms and space that might be better viewed as an effort to make the place more universal. More of a shared landscape, less specific.

I have yet to encounter a landscape artist that has inspired me more and never loses impact over time than this fellow. Enjoy the images.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry about the font size...still trying to figure all this stuff out.