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These are painters that are interesting to me. Its not an exhaustive list but hopefully you might find someone in here that you don't know about.

In no particular order

  • Camille Corot: He's my number one influence and inspiration. Many painters only look at his Italian work. I agree that they are amazing achievements; and he had only been painting for about 3 or 4 years before his first visit.  The big stuff he did for the salon is usually boring and labored, but his paintings of the French countryside right up until his death in 1874 stand as the greatest landscape paintings of his era.  Yes, they sometimes repeat a formula but if you forget this aspect and look at each one as if the others don't exist, you will find some beautiful works.  Rarely do you find a bad Corot. Smith College has three Corots. A great one (La Blonde Gasconne), a woodsy scene with figures that is nice but lacking vitality, and one that I think may not be a real Corot (Jumiege or something like that - an Italian painting that is really boring) His figure paintings are absolutely gorgeous.  For us today he is still "Papa Corot".
  • Mantegna and Ingres.  Two of my favorite draftsmen.  Check out the Camera degli Sposi frescos in this book
  • Stanislas Lepine : A follower of Corot.  Some are very good.
  • Boudin. I don't love paintings which are friezes of people on the beach with their billowing dresses and parasols. Those were formulaic and were done for sales purposes. I like the paintings with boats and skys. He could paint a sky like no one else.   Corot called him the "King of the Sky"
  • Camille Pissarro. This artist suffered from pursuing too many influences. His works up until 1875 are fantastic (see for example Peasant pushing a wheelbarrow - Pontoise) . Now that is some beautiful light on that stone wall. There is also a beautiful one in the National Gallery DC, The Fence, that does not come off in reproduction.  Go stare at it and look at the paint on this thing. Its a feast! Then he gets into full-blown impressionism and neo-impressionism/pointillism and its not for me.  I'll merely mention Monet and Cezanne. They are great painters. I like certain works by each - many more by Cezanne than by Monet though. Among my favorite Cezannes are the portrait he did of his wife in a red chair in the MFA in Boston, the portraits he did of the boy in the red waistcoat, and House of the Hanged Man
  • Nicholas Poussin. Its taken me many years of staring at my books to come to appreciate his paintings. They are often brown and full of details that don't suit modern tastes for painterly handling.  He he's a cold calculator.  A look at his self portrait will tell you that.  Put in your time with him and your will be rewarded.  I saw the big retrospective in London and was knocked out by Cephalus and Aurora. In reproduction, its just an image. When you stand in front of it and see all the paint its a different thing altogether. Same thing with a painting like Diogenes or the spectacular painting- Landscape with Three Men - from the Prado that I'd never seen before the show at the Met.  There is so much going on spatially in these paintings.  There are uncountable numbers of recessions backn in space through overlapping forms and layers and zig zags and populated by figures all doing things - what? It doesn't matter. They give the space scale. And the scale is usually HUGE. Its impossible, but he does it.   The device of putting a screen of trees in front of architecture sets the scale. This is powerful medicine and it don't go down so easy sometimes.  
  • Titian : Ok. He's on everyone's list. Take a look at the portait of the man in the red cap in the Frick.  This is a kind of painting that did not exist. Large masses painted simply. .  Michaelangelo said Titian couldn't draw.   Sorry Mich, we'll leave the musclemen drawing to you, but Titian had you beat when it comes to paint.   That white cloth  I happen to love the painting of the Englishman but you can't tell anything from the reproduction. I loved seeing his Bacchanal of the Andrians that came to DC a few summers ago. Never knew that the river was wine. It always looked black in picture books. It's a deep red really.  How 'bout the nude in the foreground.  Sheesh.  That guy had balls.   Rolf Humfries wrote an excellent book on this era of Italian painting and describes Titian's accounting of some of his subjects that is worth reading.  
  • Balthus One of the 20th C's greatest masters.  Good book shows all the work including some stuff from very early on that demonstrates his innate genius and artistic ability.  The book of drawings is also excellent.
  • Edwin Dickinson shots I took at the show at the Albright-Knox gallery.  He taught many of my teachers. I love his work but he is an acquired taste.  These are not paintings that one is magnetically drawn to; they sneak up on you in subtle ways.  Some say he was color blind because he often worked in a very gray palette. He and his teacher, Charles Hawthorne established a method of perceptual painting that has been handed down to us. Read "Hawthorne on Painting".    
  • Fairfield Porter taken from the recent catalog
  • John Singer Sargent What can one say?  He had eyes and immense talent and he painted constantly.  I love the alley scenes he did in Venice.  People like de Kooning drew much from JSS.  He is arguably America's greatest painter.
  • James. A.M. Whistler: The portraits of children are wonderful.  When his work was praised to be on a level with Velazquez, Whistler remarked "Why drag Velazquez into it?".  I love that sense of humor and his truly strange nature.  His large ego got him in trouble.  Hard to believe he grew up in Lowell, Mass (something he later tried to disavow).   Best place to see him is in Glasgow at the Hunterian Art Gallery or at the Freer in DC.  Online see him here.
  • Lennart Anderson. I studied with him at Brooklyn College. I was working on a web museum but that got derailed.  Maybe some day...
  • Christine Lafuente : Juicy, colorful painter.   Haven't seen them in the flesh but they gotta be good.
  • She also paints in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  I discovered these motifs (see here and here) back in 1992.  There were no painters around except me. Really.  One summer day a pickup truck showed up with 3 mongrel dogs.  The man through the dogs into the bay and sped off.  It was low tide.  They dogs were trapped by the walled in piers and made their way to a little piece of land in the corner surrounded by pier walls.  I was painting the sugar refinery.  The tide was rising.  I looked over and saw the land the dogs were on was disappearing.  All around them were 8 foot walls.  Pretty soon the dogs were all swimming and frantic.  I called from one of the docks for them to swim to me.  Two of them swam the 200 feet to the dock and I hauled them out.  The other (a shepherd) was too freaked out was swimming for his life.  I found a bucket and some line in a boat and jumped the barbed wire fences and got to the corner of the pier just below some rusting mollasses tanks that I had been painting. I lowered the bucket to the dog and convinced him to get in it and raised him up onto land.  That was Red Hook when I was painting it.  Now its condos and IKEA and painters all over the place I guess.  Not to take anything away from the painters that are now painting it, and doing better paintings than mine but it is interesting to see so many artists interpreting an area that I thought was strictly my own.  I won't tell you where the next frontier is if you live in NYC, but I know exactly where it is and I intend to paint it well before everyone else flocks there and does better paintings than me.
  • Rick Brazill: aka Master of the Brioche. Rick is a wonderful still life painter. Unfortunately it isn't easy to find his work online or in any east coast galleries. I'm bugging him about that.
  • Elizabeth O'Reilly: Brooklyn College alum. She got some from Lennart and some from Lois Dodd. She's painting the same stuff I found when I lived in Brooklyn.  In some ways I find her compositions a little to "interesting" but she paints beautifully. Shows at George Billis
  • Diana Horowitz Brooklyn College alum. She's also found the Gowanus and Red Hook and area of Vermont that I go to.  I think the representational art may be coming to an end.   The last show at Hirshl and Adler seemed to be two separate bodies of work.
  • Jordan Wolfson: Paints chairs in a very painterly way.
  • Lucy Barber
  • Tina Ingraham at Greenhut gallery
  • Tim Kennedy
  • Eve Mansdorf
  • John Dubrow
  • Euan Uglow
  • Paul Rahilly I studied with him at MassArt. He's a very funny and generous man. He loaned me still life paintings to go home and study.  Went way out of his way to get me started. Thanks Paul! His paintings show that sense of humor and they make you want to "rub your eye" on them, as he puts it.
  • Ed Stitt My first painting/drawing instructor. Look him up if you are in the Boston area. He has his paintings on the web here.  He was a student of
    George Nick
    and gave me an excellent start on painting from life.
  • Randall Exon
  • Ann Lofquist I've seen her painting at one of the prefered motifs in Ashfield, MA
  • Stephen Brown shows at Forum Gallery
  • Alan Feltus
  • Stuart Shils : A wonderful painter who paints much in the spirit of Dickinson, Morandi, and Whistler in that he boils things down to their essense.  Dissolved form and painterly handling.
  • Eric Aho
  • Nicholas Evans Cato
  • Richard Maury shows at Forum Gallery
  • Maureen Mullarkey writes good criticism on interesting painters
  • Robert Kulicke shows at Davis and Langdale NYC and here
  • Rackstraw Downes I'm not sure I really like them. They don't make me want to paint.  Awfully tedious recordings of every last detail.  I like his choice of subject though.  He's relevant.
  • Arthur Cohen: I've seen some reproductions in books and liked them, but not much on the web. A student of Dickinson.
  • Georgio Morandi: still Life painter. One of the best and most interesting painters I know. Pictures: a, b
  • Richard Diebenkorn
  • Willem DeKooning : favorites are his black and white abstractions and his early figures
  • Antonio Lopez Garcia, here
  • Emily Nelligan saw a beautiful show of her charcoals at Bowdoin College. Her husbend, Marvin Bileck, is good too
  • Some good shots of Uglow,Diebenkorn, Lopez Garcia here
  • Here are some dead American artists that did beautiful plein-air sketches.   Unfortunately most of them only showed their big studio fabrications.  The sketches are what most interest me.   See the book "The Painted Sketch: American Impressions from Nature 1830-1880"

Some interesting links:

The web athenauem is a site that has thousands of good quality images of dead painters.  I single it out because the images are submitted by the web community and for some artists (e.g. Boudin) you will find a treasure trove of images that you will find nowhere else.  You can spend many hours looking and if you've got a good image of a dead painter that isn't in the site you can submit it and increase their holdings! 

Other artists whose work I've seen on the web recently and like but don't have much exposure to:

Life drawings by contemporary painters

These are sites where you can find criticism and other interesting information about contemporary art


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