Trending Now: The art world is not unlike the fashion world – giant marketing efforts by auction houses lead the way to create demand for various types of art. It is always fun to look at what is trending in the auction, art fair and gallery markets.
What I think is strong and consistent trend is Art Student League Graduates
While Rhode Island School of Design remains one of the most prestigious art schools in the country, many 20th Century RISD graduates gravitated to the ever present art “mecca”, New York City. The New York Arts Student League has always attracted some of the most provocative and thoughtful artists of their time from American impressionist William Merritt Chase (1849 – 1916) to modern painter Georgia O’Keefe (1887 – 1986). Rhode Island artists who thrived in that world included Mabel Woodward (1877 – 1945), James Herbert (1873 – 1941) and Louise Marianetti (1916 – 2009). Check them out.
- Mabel Woodward (1877 – 1945) adopted the plein-air technique of her mentor William Merritt Chase. Italian Countryside, Watercolor 8” x 11” $2,800.
After a series of early accomplishments in her career, it was a predictable scenario that Mabel Woodward would rise to become the most prominent Rhode Island woman artist of the late 19th and early 20th century. She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with highest honors and received the first prize scholarship ever offered for ability, industry and conduct. She then went on in 1898 to study under Kenyon Cox and Frank Deuveneck. Following tutelage at the Art Student’s League in New York, two pieces of her work were selected for the Paris exposition. It was in 1900 that she returned to Providence to teach at Rhode Island School of Design and her success as an artist continued.
Mabel Woodward received recognition as a painter of figure and landscape. Her work was classified in 1938 by Frank Sisson, art critic for the Providence Journal, as ” A kind of impressionism…..or a development of impressionism to a more descriptive painting.” Her painting illustrated very happy phases of nature and her special talent lay in capturing outdoor color and light. Of particular note was the way she captured the sky in beach and summer scenes.
Throughout her lifetime Mabel Woodward would charm the art community both locally and nationally. She exhibited at the National Academy in New York, Chicago Art Institute, Boston Art Club, and The Rockport, Ogunquit and South County Art Associations. She was also a regular exhibitor at the Providence Art Club as well as an active member.
- James Herbert continued the figurative tradition of Kenneth Hayes Miller. Joe with Mandolin, Watercolor 10” x 8”, $1,200.
Born in New York City, Herbert lived in Manhattan and studied at Columbia University during his youth. He attended the Art Student’s League of New York from 1920-1923, and again from 1926-1929. While there he studied with eminent artists such as Frank Drummond and Kenneth Hayes Miller. He joined a “coterie of intelligent, socially interested and humanly alive artists” such as Reginald Marsh and Isabel Bishop. As Reginald Marsh was attracted to painting of the social theatrics of New York daily life, Herbert painted from a more personal and psychological perspective, capturing the “performances” of individuals. Dancers and theatrical figures were his subject matter.
- Louise Marianetti excelled at the egg tempera technique of William Palmer. Ballerina Back Stage, 1949, Tempera on Board 24 x 14”, $1,800.
Louise E. Marianetti, born in Providence, RI, was a talented painter known for her egg tempera, oils, pastels and drawings. After her professional art training graduating from RISD in 1936 and attending the Arts Student League until 1939, she enjoyed a long and productive career painting and exhibiting her work. The artist garnered critical reviews from the Providence Journal, New York Times and Fort Worth Star. She is listed in Who Was Who in American Art.
Marianetti is distinguished for her exacting technique and refinement of the egg tempera medium, a tribute to the early Renaissance artists. Her realistic approach transcends to a worldly realm that leaves viewers with the impression of a super real or magical mysticism. Leaving egg tempera behind in later artistic life, Marianetti showed her versatility and command of the pastel medium establishing a strong collector base and exhibiting frequently.
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