Studio: international art — 35.1905

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New York Water-Colour Club


This exhibition, which was held at the Modern
Gallery, in Bond Street, was a new departure. It
is quite a new thing for the water-colour painters of
America to be adequately represented in England ;
and since, owing to distance and other circum-
stances, it is difficult for them to compete with
English water-colourists in the chief exhibitions of
London, it is well that the New York Water-colour
Club has taken the matter in hand, and intends
holding in future an annual exhibition of its mem-
bers’ work in London. The exhibition which has
just closed gave us an opportunity of forming an
opinion of how the art of water-colour painting stands
in America. The exhibition was very encouraging.
Water-colour art as practised in America is fresh
and vital, and it has a distinctly national note. To
find this latter note so often and so insistently struck
more than anything else is a sign of the vigour and
success with which the art is prosecuted. It would
have been as disappointing to have found the exhi-
bition a re-echo of the modern Continental schools
as to have found it weakly pursuing a path of

timid convention. The great variety of styles ex-
hibited, the open range of subjects, and the free
executive skill so characteristic of the art of
America inspire confidence in the success of future
exhibitions. American illustrators appear to do
their work so easily, they have such a facile
cleverness, made perhaps by the demands of their
journalism, that one half mistrusts their ability to
dwell over a work of art long enough to make it more
than a triumphant essay, aiming at an effectiveness
that can be gained with momentary effort. Cer-
tain of the works exhibited displayed the surface
cleverness which is so racial, but there was, on the
whole, no lack of indication that water-colour in
America has not assumed the character merely of
quick illustration done in colour. It has in it signs
that the respect due to water-colour as a delicate
and permanent medium is not wanting among the
members of the New York Club.

Several examples of the work exhibited are here
illustrated, and it cannot be said that they do not
show a great variety of successful effort. The
designs for an altar-piece by G. H. Hallowed
showed a crisp and firm handling of colour—the
hard shadows were used with admirable decorative
effect in the draperies, though they were a little too

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