Artist of the Month (May)
The Cotton Pickers (1876) from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art collection. Copyright LACMA Museum Associates 2011.
Bio of Homer (by Artsy) below:
Winslow Homer is one of the best known painters of American scenes of outdoor life. After an apprenticeship in lithography, Homer began his career as an illustrator for Harper’s, drawing scenes of the Civil War battlefront. After the war, he traveled to Europe and then spent the summer of 1873 in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he began to work in watercolor—what would eventually became his primary medium. Homer’s outdoor genre scenes painted a varied picture of Americana, from scenes of wilderness guides, to rural African American life in the post-Civil War era, to children at play. In 1881, he spent almost two years on the English coast depicting simple scenes of the local communities. As his career evolved, Homer turned more and more to the sea, and a move to a secluded spot in coastal Maine prompted the eternal struggle between man and nature to become a prominent theme in his work.
Any college art history textbook will tell you that Homer is internationally recognized as an iconic American artist. And the pastoral yet powerful aspects of his work seem to render it perfectly suited for the not yet spring-ish tone of the month. I am a huge fan of The Cotton Pickers, which is featured above. This piece of his can be viewed now on the first floor of the Met Breuer exhibition entitled Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, continuing through September 4th. Stay tuned for a review of Unfinished and feel free to comment below with questions and/or ideas.