Two Shows Explore the Origin and the Influence of Painter Marsden Hartley
Hartley’s work, which cycled through a range of styles and techniques after his career was launched by photographer and dealer explained in his 1928 essay “Art and the Personal Life.”
This philosophy led to the creation of investigative paintings that were strongly reactive to the visual aspects of the real world, an ethos echoed in the works of his forebears in “Contemporary Responses to Hartley.” The exhibition focuses on modern visions of the Hartley’s most-repeated subjects, landscapes and still lifes, with a group of artists that are inspired by Harley’s inventive style of depiction. Works such as Houseplant (2014) and Liner, Cloud, Berg (2014) clearly evolve from Hartley’s audacious paintings filled with bright color and bold form.
“Art is Long, Life is Short: Marsden Hartley and Charles Kuntz in Aix-en-Provence,” presented in conjunction with the Greenville County Museum of Art in South Carolina, addresses the impact of the historical friendship between the two titular artists in the late 1920s, when both lived in the French city of Aix-en-Provence. Kuntz, whose work has never been exhibited before, had convinced Hartley to move the hometown of their mutual hero
Dual depictions of the local Mont Sainte-Victoire (a favorite of Cézanne) cast a clear light onto the ways in which the work of each artist influenced that of his friend; from shared subject to the semi-abstract techniques strongly indebted to both
“The Earth is All I Know of Wonder: Contemporary Responses to Hartley” is on view at Driscoll Babcock Galleries, New York, Jan. 15–Feb. 21, 2015; “Art is Long, Life is Short: Marsden Hartley and Charles Kuntz in Aix-en-Provence” is on view Jan. 15–March 7, 2015.