Michael Rosenfeld Gallery Gives American Painters Bob Thompson and Louis Eilshemius Their Due
For its inaugural show of the fall season, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery is bringing together paintings by two great American artists from different generations, Naked at the Edge: Louis Eilshemius / Bob Thompson” is the fitting title of an exhibition that celebrates—and resurfaces—the trend-bucking yet underexposed work of the two painters.
Thompson and Eilshemius both garnered critical acclaim for their work, particularly posthumously, but they nevertheless remained relatively marginalized and practically unknown outside the art world. Thompson, a prolific African-American artist, painted for only eight years but in this short period bypassed the dominance of abstraction in midcentury America and developed his own symbolic language. Had his life not been so short—he died just shy of his 29th birthday of a heroin overdose in Rome in 1966—he may have established a firmer place both within and outside of his field. Through a combination of figuration, color, and form, he transformed scenes inspired by the the
Eilshemius’ longer life was marked by the relatively late discovery of his work, in 1917, by
For his expressive paintings, which are characterized by figures at rest or play in the center of verdant landscapes, he drew inspiration from the
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