“Artists in America: Highlights of the Collection from the New Britain Museum of American Art” is on view at Nassau County Museum of Art November 17⁆ebruary 24.
The exhibition surveys 300 years of great American painting rarely seen on Long Island. Its 79 works dating from the early 1700s to the present include history painting, landscape, portraits, still life and Modernist abstraction with significant examples of photography, collage and other media. Major artists from every era of American art are on view, including John Singleton Copley, Charles Willson Peale, John Singer Sargent, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, Robert Motherwell and Sol LeWitt. All works in the exhibition are selected from the permanent collections of the New Britain (Conn.) Museum of American Art.
Norman Rockwell’s beloved paintings portray a wholesome, idealized America, while Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton celebrate the rural and local, hard work and honest labor. Paintings from the Hudson River School by renowned artists Thomas Cole, Frederick Edwin Church and John Frederick Kensett focus on the sublime grandeur of American landscapes, while American Impressionist painters Frederick Carl Frieseke and Theodore Robinson capture beautiful moments through sketchy brushstrokes, brilliant color and ephemeral atmospheres.
Influenced by European art movements of the early Twentieth Century, American Modernists, including the Precisionist Charles Sheeler and Abstract Expressionist Adolph Gottlieb, emphasize the industrial, the international or the psychological through gesture, texture, surface, geometry, shape, form and color. The work of contemporary artists Cindy Sherman, Rashaad Newsome and Radcliffe Bailey coalesce around the politics of feminism and sexual identity, the issues of multiculturalism and social reform, as well as concern for the environment and natural resources.
Nassau County Museum of Art is at 1 Museum Drive, just off Northern Boulevard, Route 25A. For information www.nassaumuseum.org or 516-484-9337.