Camera Work: A Photographic Quarterly — 1910 (Heft 31)

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Mr. Harrington in the “New York Herald”:
Ultra-modern art disports itself in earnest experiment in the galleries of the Photo-Secession,
in Fifth Avenue near Thirtieth street, in a collection of pictures without titles, painted by men whose
names are beginning to be known. The exhibition is especially interesting at this time because it
will inevitably be compared with that of the works of Whistler on view in the Metropolitan Museum
of Art and also with the current display of the National Academy of Design. Several very learned
art critics are going straight from Whistler this week to the “Little Gallery’, to experience a
The group of young American painters whose works are on exhibition consists of Messrs.
Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Alfred Maurer, Max Weber, D. Putnam Brinley and Eduard
Steichen. They are experimenting in public, and naturally there are others who are concerned in
seeing what they are doing and why they think they ought to do it. The echoes of the cry of the
last generation, “ Art for art’s sake,” are heard in this new school of color for color’s sake, of which
Mons. Matisse is now probably the best known.
It may be that some day this strange school will be recognized as the beginning of an important
evolution in art. Certain it is that the exhibition is attracting much attention, and the snug little
gallery over which Mr. Alfred Stieglitz presides is crowded most of the day, especially when he is
there to tell why the bright hued, shadowless things in frames are there.
Elizabeth L. Carey in the “New York Times”:
At the Photo-Secession rooms is now a collection of paintings by G. Putnam Brinley, Arthur
Beecher Carles, Arthur Dove, Lawrence Fellows, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Alfred Maurer
Eduard Steichen and Max Weber. These various talents offer a kaleidoscopic vision of that new art
for which Cézanne, we suppose, is primarily responsible, but there are as many personal and
strongly differentiated notes in the general harmony as in the Spring Academy. Max Weber’s bits
of still life are delightful, but his impressions of humanity, as in the grip of epileptic seizures, if
taken seriously, as they must be, are eloquent of horror and nightmare. A very handsome picture
by Mr. Steichen shows a lady with purple hair leaning on a vermilion chair-back, her figure sil-
houetted against a gold screen. Across the width of the room the color values come together with
remarkable effectiveness. It is altogether the strongest piece of work that we have seen by Mr.
Steichen, a truly barbaric force is achieved, and one thinks of the effect, not of the means. The
Egyptian poster effects of Mr. Fellows also are interesting and highly decorative. Mr. Dove’s
table, on which are lobsters and grapes against a background of handsome figured chintz, is one
of the more convincing canvases; but we confess ignorance of the general aim of the group, unless
it is to make color and pattern do all the work of a picture, leaving out values of dark and light
and substituting symbol for representation. Of course painting may develop incredibly in such
direction, but leaving out values of dark and light upsets all our Western conceptions of a picture.
So long as the color and pattern are kept stimulating and vigorous there is nothing to complain of.
When they suggest disease and decay the lover of art may justly rebel.
Israel White in the “Newark Evening News”:
Alfred Stieglitz has lived to see the Photo-Secession make a stir and that is what he set out
to do. We have often spoken of Mr. Stieglitz. He is the showmaster extraordinary. For more
than twenty years he has been arranging exhibitions all over the world. More than a thousand
performances lie to his credit. He has always had a deliberate purpose in making these exhibitions
and there’s no doubt about his knowing how to do it. If the museums and art organizations really
desired to show the public what the progressive men are doing in art they could not do better than
to engage Mr. Stieglitz’s services.
There’s something doing in the world of art. The wind has been blowing, rustling the
blinds, and still we slept. Now it rushes through the room and we must get up to see what’s
happening. Mr. Stieglitz will tell you that this is what it is; the men who have gone along with
the tide have developed into makers of colored photographs. Then color photography—note
the distinction between colored photographs and color photography—showed that the painters’
colors were all wrong and that better results along this line could be secured mechanically. That
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