Friday, 10 May 2013

Norman Rockwell

The Connoisseur (1962)
by Norman Rockwell
(from the 100 Hours Tour: TCJ, 15 February 2008) gallery art or fine art... there is still this Huge Question Mark about whether or not Norman Rockwell is actually an artist (let alone an Artist) while it is taken as a given that Jackson Pollock is An Artist. That's lunacy to me...

Norman Rockwell did a SATURDAY EVENING POST cover that has come to be called "The Connoisseur" (he didn't title his own works) of a well dressed gentleman standing in an art gallery in front of a Jackson Pollock style painting. Rockwell did all the research into how Pollock did his pictures and worked very hard to "do" Pollock (doing the spatters with the same arcing arm movement, shortened up because the "painting" was inset in his own picture). He went to Paris in the 1920s to try to participate in the art renaissance that was going on and was summarily rejected as a non-artist, old fashioned, etc. I'm sure Pollock never referred to him or the cover except in deprecating terms.

He was always open to all forms of art. He preferred his own discipline (obviously) and he certainly never rested on his laurels -- at least up to the last years, each picture got better and better and more and more difficult to execute -- even as he was being dismissed by the Art World and even more troubling by the Commercial Art World at the end of his life.

A highly placed executive at the Rockwell Museum told me that she had been at SVA some years ago -- the School of Visual Arts, for crying out loud! -- and Rockwell wasn't so much as mentioned.

And yet he's far and away the most beloved American artist of his own or any generation.

And, to me, the greatest painter of all time... inside or outside of America.


Anonymous said...

"And, to me, the greatest painter of all time... inside or outside of America"

Oh dave you know that's BS! :-)

M Southall said...

Ger's style is a lot like Rockwell's.