Oakland Tribune, Oakland, CA, “Artists and their work” by Florence Wieben Lehre, July 4, 1926, last edition, not illustrated
ECA Record Control Number: 19547
Record Level: Reference
Record Type: Newspaper
Article Type: Work Mention
Key Title: Artists and their work
Sub Title: -none-
Author: Florence Wieben Lehre
Publisher: Oakland Tribune
Publish Location: Oakland, CA
Date of Publication: July 4, 1926
Page: last edition, not illustrated
Source: Newspapers.com paid subscription
Description: 1 newspaper clipping
Carlsen, Emil, 1848-1932.
Number of copies: 1
“Artists and their work
By Florence Wieben Lehre, Assistant Director, Oakland Art Gallery.
Let us consider the artist today—the artist and art appreciation. Perhaps we will wonder why a lack of information should be thought such a handicap in art appreciation, after all.
The artist spends seven or eight years learning this and that. He is taught that he must do certain things in certain ways, or else he will never be worthy of admission into the fold of the great or the near-great.
After he leaves the academy he finds that, although he can do all things well, he can do nothing greatly. He suspects that something of his learning must be false. And during the next few years he finds in his wake discarded “muata” and “dont’s”. In time he realizes that all he needs is a strong, personal conviction, some technical facility, and—industry. In other words, the artist needs a little more than a personal viewpoint. And for appreciation we, whether we be connoisseurs or laymen, need only the power to accept, temporarily, that point of view.
It is right here that excess information is most deadly, and even more common to the artist than to the layman. The artist “knows” that this is false and that that is true; that such and such is permisable and that something else is against the canons. In fact, knowing many things, he too often thinks that he knows all things, and so all pictorial reads to joy are closed save the one in which his own feet are set.
So who cares for lack of information? Here “ignorance” may be the truest wisdom.
No one knows just what makes a great picture great, nor why another painting which our logic tells me is its equal, is only “good.”
Truly art is a mystery. And like all pleasant mysteries, the longer it remains mysterious, the better our chances of continued enjoyment.
* * *
Celebrated names in American art are those represented in gallery 19 of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. It is a real privilege to see originals by twenty-five painters whose work many of us know only through reproductions in art magazines.
This is one of those “accepted” exhibitions which, though conventional in character, are also interesting for the artist to study. The workmanship is technically good, and therefore the pictures must be of interest to the artist and connoisseur, if for that reason alone. Most of the paintings and logical, correct, reasonable, sensible. So the intelligent public will appreciate them immensely. The paintins were probably chosen as a permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago for that very reason. This is the first time, by the way, that any picture has been lent by the Friends of American Art of the Institute.
Jonas Lie’s New York is unquestionably the most spectacular. Not only because it is the largest does it deserve its position of honor. There is skill shown in the portrayal of the misty, smoky skyline, the subdued lights from the skyscrapers gleaming through the veil of fog, the lap-lap of water against the boats and the ice floes in the foreground. The painting is suggested rather than depicted throughout. One cannot help thinking that it shows the superiority of life-gicing, dashing suggestion over the dead, stuffy, photographic detail of so many of the “popular” paintings we see, for instance, in dealers’ windows.
Even freer is handling, although is quite another way, is Randall Davey’s portrait entitled, A Young Lady. It is in a much “saner” mood than Davey’s works usually impress us. The bug brush strokes are “walloped” on in the most direct way possible. Seemingly a true “premler coup.” The lady has red hair and red-brown eyes. There is much character in the head.
A brilliant blue background, a Arand plane, and Leo Ornstein at the Piano. This is by Leon Kroll. It is pleasing in color, interesting in arrangement, and rather freely handled.
Emil Carlsen’s still life is a joy. It is delicate and suggestive of Dresden China, but perhaps somewhat weak. High keyed and clean, but without intense light. The flowered background is tapestry-like both in effect and in surface quality. Bits of translucent vases and China plates glisten in the foreground.
A black yard, clothes lines running in every direction; blowy; as many fluttering children as clothes. These taken and “played with,” arranged with a feeling of design, make Washday in Spring by John H. Grabach.
A very good example of a Chauncey Ryder—misty, saturated; hay stacks, a farm, a bit of country road, distant trees half obscured, a raggedy fence. A picture.
Our eyes are lured again and again in Madonna and Child by Henry Holden Dearth. Primitive and naive in composition, without the sincerity of the real primitive. Sumptuous in its delicious overlays and scumbles. Tricky and systematized. Trivial but beautiful.
Clean in color; as spontaneous as a “thumb box” sketch sunbathed. The Procession of the Redeniere, Venice, reaches his result by way of sincere observation and skillful painting.
Academeic correctness, impressionistic technique, “nice” in color is April Twentieth by Lawrence Maranovich.
Poetic; impossible. Rocks floating in the sky. Imaginative, Academic and strained, but with some of the charm of the fairy tale. Judge, The Fates Gathering in the Stars for yourself. It is by Elihu Vedder.
North River Shed by William Merritt Chase. The famous portrait painter paints a successful portrait of a fish, and uses his whole “bag of tricks” to do it. Clever, dashing, “sleek.”
Paul Dougherty’s Storm Quiet, Impressionable technique; academic conceptions. Solid, stodgy, A well complicated marine. Carefully observed, concientious. But despite all this there is a lack of freshness and movement in the greens, grays and blues of the water, is the reflected colors of the rocks surrounding the cove.
A Holiday by Edward H. Potthast, Lacks solidity. Fresh, clean. Air, joy and mention cleverity suggested. A top-pretty painting that plesees despite the prettiness.
Willard L. Metcalf’s Ioo? Bound. A slip by a fine painting. It belongs…”
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:
March 1, 2017
March 1, 2017