Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Early American Modernist Painter - Florine Stettheimer

When you think of early Modernism Art, Florine Stetheimer's effervescent style is not what would first come to mind. It was in 1892, at twenty-one years of age that Stetheimer began her formal study of art at New York's Art Students League. Florine's family traveled back and forth from America to Europe;  it was not until twenty-two years after beginning her art studies and was once again settled in New York, that she began painting in her unique and stylized manner that she is known for today.

Cathedrals of Broadway, Florine Stettheimer

The gilded frames that surround the works are the artists design. Other installations in galleries around the world feature frames with a scalloped loop motif as well.

Theater lifestyle portrayed in The Cathedrals of Broadway.

Florine's decorative, bright palettes displayed personal stories and depictions of the affluent American lifestyle. The rich colours that fill the theatrical like portrayals on the canvases are most often anchored with red, which is Florine's favourite colour.

A portion of the painting - The Cathedrals of Broadway.

Some of Florine's best known work hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City : The Cathedral Series - The Cathedrals of Broadway (1929), The Cathedrals of Fifth Avenue (1931), The Cathedrals of Wall Street (1939), and The Cathedrals of Art (1942).

The final painting in The Cathedral series - The Cathedrals of Art, was unfinished at the time of the artists death in 1944. It was on our recent visit to the Met that my son and I had the opportunity to enjoy the paintings at length. I noticed that one of the paintings in the series does not have an American flag painted within the rendering, as the other three do. This is one of the outstanding elements in the unfinished work of The Cathedrals of Art.

A portion of The Cathedrals of Wall Street.

Tucked to the lower right side of the painting The Cathedrals of Wall Street, is a self portrait of Florine. She portrays herself wearing a dress in her most cherished colour - red.

portion of The Cathedrals of Fifth Avenue.

from The Cathedrals of Fifth Avenue

The whimsical portraits of life through Florine's eyes shows her unique talent as a great Modernist Artist. It is a life and work to be celebrated.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing talent! This is gorgeous and she certainly is a life to be celebrated