2010 Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University, Wichita KS, “Art of Our Time: Selections from the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University”, April 24 – August 8
ECA Record Control Number: 19042
Record Level: Listing
Record Type: Exhibitions
Exhibition Type: Group Show
Exhibition Name: Art of Our Time: Selections from the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University
Exhibition Host Name & Location: Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University, Wichita KS
Exhibition Dates: April 24 – August 8, 2010.
Exhibition Additional Location & Dates (For Travel Exhibitions):
Exhibition Sponsor: Wichita State University
…”Barnacled Rocks is a fine example of early-twentieth-century Connecticut impressionism as realized by the Danish American artist Emil Carlsen. Beginning in the late 1880s, Connecticut’s rural charms and rugged seacoast attracted New York artists, who established colonies in Old Lyme and in the Cos Cob neighborhood of Greenwich. They appreciated the proximity of those communities to Manhattan, site of their urban studios. The art historian Susan Larkin has compared the Cos Cob artists to their French counterparts who had summered in Argenteuil a few decades earlier. Impressionists in both these semirural places were seeking more contemplative subjects in nature and the camaraderie of likeminded artists. Carlsen joined Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, John Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, and others who supported a culture of artistic innovation inspired by the Connecticut countryside.
Carlsen was born in Copenhagen, where he studied architecture, painting, and sculpture at the Royal Academy. He immigrated to America in 1872 and settled in Chicago, working as an assistant first to an architect and then to the Danish painter Lauritz B. Holst. He took a teaching position at the then recently founded Chicago Academy of Design (now the School of the Art Institute of Chicago). In 1875 Carlsen spent several productive months in Paris, where he briefly attended
classes at the Académie Julian. He returned to the United States later that year and took a studio in New York. Back in Paris from 1884 to 1886, he concentrated on still-life painting before moving to San Francisco, where for two years he directed the school of the San Francisco Art Association and, subsequently, had a studio and taught. In 1891 the peripatetic artist accepted an invitation to teach at the National Academy of Design in New York; he remained an instructor there until 1918.
Carlsen married in 1896 and purchased property in Falls River, Connecticut, in 1905. His distinctive talents and growing friendships with artists such as Twachtman and Weir helped him establish a secure place among the Connecticut impressionists. Barnacled Rocks vividly demonstrates the nature of Carlsen’s impressionism. To capture the churning waves dashing against rocks, he relied on aggressive brushwork, while creating the tranquil blue of the distant sea and sky with a more controlled application of paint. In addition, the composition reflects Carlsen’s appreciation for Japanese aesthetics, a penchant he shared with many American and French impressionists. Claude Monet and John Twachtman, for example, treasured their Japanese woodblock prints. Later, modernists would admire the flat zones of unmodeled color, asymmetrical designs, and compositional foreshortening characteristic of this genre. In the Ulrich Museum’s canvas, a few simple zones of near monochrome comprise the image. The viewer’s heightened vantage point, elevated from the rocky shoreline in the foreground, disrupts recession and contributes to a two-dimensional effect. The asymmetry of the view Carlsen selected energizes the composition and illustrates the artist’s embrace of japonisme. The combined impact of these formal characteristics demonstrates the strong modernism of this painting.”…
WORKS BY EMIL CARLSEN
Digital-born Document Number:
Digital Document Provenance:
Original compiled and researched document by the Emil Carlsen Archives, 266 West 21st Street, Suite 4E, New York, NY 10011.
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The author of this artwork died more than 70 years ago. According to U.S. Copyright Law, copyright expires 70 years after the author’s death. In other countries, legislation may differ.
Record Birth Date:
February 12, 2017
February 12, 2017