George Inness, Green Landscape, 1886. Gift of Frank and Katherine Martucci, 2013.1.5
Gifts from Frank and Katherine Martucci
June 9, 2013 - September 8, 2013
On the heels of a significant gift of art to the Clark, the exhibition George Inness: Gifts from Frank and Katherine Martucci brings together an important group of eight paintings by American landscape painter George Inness (1825–1894)—a gift accepted by the Clark in early spring—with two works by Inness, Wood Gatherers: An Autumn Afternoon and Home at Montclair, which were purchased by Sterling Clark and have been a part of the Institute’s collection since 1955.
The eight landscapes by Inness represent an excellent survey of the artist’s late work. The paintings range in date from 1880 to 1894, the year of the artist’s death. During this period, Inness moved from the open-air painting and naturalism of his early career toward a more conceptual approach to capturing mood and the play of light and shadow. His dedication to the teachings of the Swedish philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg provided him with specific spiritual concepts that guided his depictions of nature.
Wanting to do more than simply record nature, Inness experimented with color, composition, and painterly technique in an attempt to present a vision of the natural world beyond its materiality. His ethereal handling of paint creates the hazy atmospheres, soft forms, and baths of color that reveal his attempt at formal unity intended to evoke the harmony of the physical world and a sense of higher truths. These paintings brilliantly express the aesthetic and spiritual vision sought by Inness during this key period.