Friday, March 13, 2009

3 by Bo Bartlett

I'm sometimes hot and cold on Bartlett's work. As a realist painter, he has a clear vision and often compelling compositions. Sometimes his work falls into illustration for me - and a bit too iconic. But by and large, I am usually glad I visited his site. He represents something of a "dying breed" in contemporary art: The American Realist Painter. As an artist, I find myself somewhat within this stream as well, attempting to give vision to the everyday experience of life and the deeper significance of the quotidian.

Here is a statement from Bartlett's website:

"Bo Bartlett is an American realist with a modernist vision. His paintings are well within the tradition of American realism as defined by artists such as Thomas Eakins and Andrew Wyeth. Like these artists, Bartlett looks at America’s heart—its land and its people—and describes the beauty he finds in everyday life. His paintings celebrate the underlying epic nature of the commonplace and the personal significance of the extraordinary.

Life, death, passage, memory, and confrontation coexist easily in his world. Family and friends are the cast of characters that appear in his dreamlike narrative works. Although the scenes are set around his childhood home in Georgia, his island summer home in Maine, his home in Pennsylvania or the surroundings of his studio and residence in Washington state, they represent a deeper, mythical concept of the archetypal, universal home."

Bo Bartlett Online

Bo Bartlett
Assumption (2001)
Oil on linen
93.25" x 119.25"

Bo Bartlett
Lifeboat (1998)
Oil on linen
80" x 100"

(I have no idea why the image below has all the figures in blue - some problem with the upload. The original images should be easy enough to find on his website above...)
Bo Bartlett
Young Life (1994)
Oil on linen
78" x 108"

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