Monday, 13 August 2012

George Benjamin Luks and Society Girl

'Society Girl' (1920) by George Benjamin Luks; Weatherspoon Art Museum,
University of North Carolina, Greensboro

George Luks, born on August 13, 1867, was an American Realist painter that I have never heard of but his Wikipedia page is quite long so I guess he was an important painter. It could have something to do with the fact that he was one of the members of the Ashcan School, a group of American painters who depicted urban scenes in a realistic style. The movement grew out of a group called The Eight. Eight artists, led by Robert Henri, exhibited their work at Macbeth's Gallery in New York in 1908 in a purposeful attempt to free artists from the artistic restrictions imposed by the National Academy. This was the only time that the group acted together. If you click here, you can see one of Luks' urban scene paintings (Allen Street, c.1905). I've chosen 'Society girl', a painting from his later period. Probably not so difficult to guess why. With this painting Luks wanted to interpret wealth and the importance of society. I think it's beautiful.

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