By Maureen Bloomfield
A still life is an exercise in design, as the artist arranges the elements; a portrait registers an encounter, but it is planned. What underlies a landscape, less subject to control, is a discovery; coming upon a vista, the painter registers a moment—a quirk of light, a condition of weather, wherein he or she experiences an epiphany. Rendering the shifting conditions as they correspond with the artist’s own changing perceptions is the task. Accordingly, landscape painters look both outside and within. From the Hudson River School and the Luminists to Henry Farney and Thomas Hart Benton; from Maurice Prendergast and Childe Hassam to John Twachtman and April Gornick, American landscape painters focus on a luminosity that intimates the spirit of a once new and ever-evolving land. In a trajectory that would have been familiar to Emerson, the mind that knows itself encounters nature and, in an intuitive leap, moves beyond the self to the cosmos. Such is transcendence. We see what’s visible and perceive what’s not.
The artists whose work comprises Art Journey America: Landscapes assert the viability and vitality of this rich tradition.
The twelve artists featured here are among the 89 painters included in Art Journey America: Landscapes. Visit www.northlightshop.com to order your copy.
Featured in January 2012.