Ralph Albert Blakelock
American, 1847-1919
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Collected by major museums
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
Selected exhibitions
2018
Questroyal’s Ninth Annual Summer Special Sale,
Questroyal Fine Art
2016
Ralph Albert Blakelock | The Great Mad Genius Returns,
Questroyal Fine Art
2014
100 Works for 100 Years: A Centennial Celebration,
Montclair Art Museum

With the exception of James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Albert Pinkham Ryder, no American Tonalist was more crucial to the development of American modernism than Ralph Albert Blakelock. Although he started out as a somewhat conventional Hudson River School painter, his poetic and symbolic moonlights of the 1890s, with their emphasis on pattern and abstract design and manipulated paint surfaces, changed the face of American art. Blakelock’s scintillating dream-like nocturnes reward close inspection for their interplay of color, tone, subtle vibration, refracted edges, jagged rhythmic patterns, and dissonant harmonies. The artist endlessly experimented with surface textures: scumbling, scraping, and even pumicing his lacquer-like pigments. Blakelock’s works are replete with analogues to nature’s underlying armature, even mimicking the organic structure visible on the microscopic level of …

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