Townsend, James B.
Ultra conservatism in the painting shown at Carnegie Institute this year, pp. 379-385
CONSERVATISM AT PITTSBURGH EXHIBITION with few new fellows, while the familiar visitors have nothing new to tell this year. Even Gaston La Touche, he of the golden glow and fantastic conceit, shows this year simply the interior of a Paris department store, typical in color and composition, but not espe- cially interesting. Lucien Simon has a large figure canvas, not note- worthy, and Rene Prinet two outdoors, with figures, good in air and movement but not striking works. There is no representation of Matisse and his followers, much less of any of the even more pro- nounced painters, who are called the "Post Impressionists." And this is greatly to be regretted, for the influence of these men on the art of the day, not only in France, of which land they are natives, but throughout the Continent, and even in the United States is not to be questioned, whether one believes in their theories or not. The cleverest of the foreign work shown is that of the Russian Nicolas Fdehin, the Frenchman Jacques Blanche, whose half-len~th, seated portrait of Henry James is remarkably strong; the English- men, Harrington Mann, Sir Alfred East, William Orpen, William Nicholson, the late J. A. Shaw and Arthur Wardle; the Germans, Schramm-Zittau and F. Grissel, and the Italians, Troccoli and Caputo. ' Last year Fdehin astonished us with his marvelously clever tech- nique. This year he exhibits a large outdoors with figures, "Bear- ing Off the Bride,"-a remarkable piece of characterization, but too muddy in color and too confused in composition to be entirely effec- tive. His half-length sketch-portrait of a little girl, however, is sim- ply wonderful in expression and in its rendition of character in a few slight strokes. It is by far the cleverest work of the exhibition. Sir Alfred East departs from his large, muddy landscapes to show a beautifully composed "Venice," low in key and full aired, which is a revelation of powers unknown to his American admirers. The remainder of the English pictures are average Royal Academy work, and in fact many of them have figured in the Academy displays of the past few years. The portraits of Troccoli are instinct with life and expression. To sum up, the exhibition is ultra conservative, and lacks the life and novelty that might have been given by even a sprinkling of the works of those painters before alluded to who have startled of late the art camps of the world. It would seem as if the management of the Carnegie Institute and the juries for next year should go further afield and present the work of some of the newer and younger painters. It is a mistake, apparently, to ignore them or shut them out, althouoh, in the pres- ent instance, the omission may have been quite unintentional. 385
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