By Elizabeth Athens and Brandon Ruud with Martha Tedeschi
This book explores the pivotal months in 1881-82 that the canonical American artist Winslow Homer (1836-1910) spent in England. Its essays challenge accepted notions of Homer's artistic development during and after this period, demonstrating how he wrestled with his creative identity and the creation of his artistic legacy.
While in England, Homer engaged with the work of the country's masters, such as Joseph Mallord William Turner and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, as well as with paintings by regional marine marine artists from the coastal village of Cullercoats, where he established a studio. His purchase of two cameras during this time also indicates his close investigation of contemporary forms of picture making. The work from his nineteen months abroad bears the mark of these varied influences, as he negotiated the tensions between the traditional nature of his subject matter and the modernity of his aesthetic vision. The book's essays place Homer's sketches, watercolors, and oil paintings alongside comparative examples by English artists whose work shares his struggle with narrative and exhibits a similar tension between tradition and modernity. The catalogue also explores the critical notices that Homer's English works received and how they caused him to reevaluate his compositional strategies and his artistic legacy. In examining Homer in the context of his English counterparts, the influence of French artists on his pre- and post-Cullercoats output, and the reception his English paintings received abroad and at home, Coming Away complicates our understanding of his work as unequivocally American in subject and style.
Hardcover, 168 pages
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