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Exhibition at Hirschl & Adler explores the evolution of Americaa's culture and landscape
William Glackens, Summer, about 1914. Oil on canvas, 26 1/8 x 32 in. Signed (at lower left): W. Glackens.

NEW YORK, NY.- Hirschl & Adler Galleries presents Our American Life, an exhibition of approximately fifty paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture from the nineteenth century to the present. Our American Life explores both the variety of the American experience and the evolution of our country’s culture and landscape. The show examines daily life through the eyes of American artists in its most recognizable environs–quaint towns, bustling cities, sweeping farmland, and meandering shorelines. Together these works paint a collective portrait of what it is to be American, and celebrate the unique diversity of American life.

Our American Life features work by nineteenth-century artists such as Eastman Johnson (1824– 1906) and Worthington Whittredge (1820–1910); twentieth-century artists including William Glackens (1870–1938), Marsden Hartley (1878–1943), Edward Hopper (1882–1967), and Fairfield Porter (1907–1975); as well as artists from Hirschl & Adler’s contemporary program, including John Moore (1941–) and Randall Exon (1956–), among others.

Eastman Johnson’s Barn Swallows (1878) presents a picturesque vision of rural America. The work was painted while visiting his sister and her family at their summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Johnson loved painting children, and his young subjects are often imbued with vitality and playful innocence. This is the case with Barn Swallows, which depicts Johnson’s own daughter, his sister’s children, and other neighbors “roosting” upon a crossbeam of the barn.

John Moore’s Pause (1990–94) presents a scene initially recognizable as the suburban sprawl typical of the contemporary American landscape. The scene is a composite of varying typography, in which a quiet suburban street gives way to a factory and further afield, city buildings stretch into the distance. Upon closer inspection, however, Moore’s suburbia evokes a feeling of uneasiness. Two children in the foreground gaze away from the viewer, pausing in their play as if suddenly interrupted. It is not only the children who pause; curiously, a lawn mower stands alone, abandoned in the grass and more alarmingly, a baby carriage sits unattended on the sidewalk.

In William Glackens’ vibrant and impressionistic beach scene, Summer (about 1914), visitors to shore of Bellport, Long Island enjoy the pleasures of a brilliant summer’s day. Glackens’ beachgoers wade in water dappled with jewel-like pigment under a bright expansive sky. The composition is infused with light, and the viewer cannot help but feel the warmth of the summer breeze emanating from the canvas.

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