Monday, June 23, 2008
While in the gift shop at the Morgan on Saturday, Carol brought to my attention a book of poems. The painting used for the cover was by Albert York, a favorite of hers since being introduced to him long ago by a college art professor. I'd never heard of him though, doing some google searching, there's at least one painting of his, a bucolic scene featuring a nude woman and a skeleton, that I'd seen before somewhere. Apparently he's something of a recluse and, for his work and his habits, has garnered comparisons to Albert Pinkham Ryder. My first reaction on seeing the still life pictured here was that it reminded me of Morandi--something akin in the muted colors and the naive-but-perfect placement of the objects. I like guys like this who, while obviously aware of contemporary trends, remain stubbornly outside that scene, working as honestly as they can.
Some of his pieces remind me of Puvis de Chavannes as well, another under-appreciated painter. Russell Chatham too, the fellow responsible for most of the covers of Jim Harrison novels. York is obscure enough to lack a wiki entry, though he seems to be well represented at several galleries. Interesting work, glad I found him.