George Bellows' Entropic Visions

George Bellows, Pennsylvania Station Excavation, 1909 (Brooklyn Museum of Art)
George Bellows, Pennsylvania Station Excavation, 1909 (Brooklyn Museum of Art)

Mira Schor blogs about a group of three paintings by George Bellows depicting the excavation for Pennsylvania Station. The pictures are part of the exhibition George Bellows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, on view through February 18, 2013.

Schor writes: "The paintings are easel sized and painted in a loose expressionistic style that is a eerie and awkward combination of Goya, Velasquez, Courbet, with a Brueghel quote in the bottom right corner of a dark worker against a snow white background but, despite these historical allusions, they are imbued with a regionalist, Americanist feel. And yet, as one viewer I overheard say, these paintings are ferocious... These are very good paintings by a painter who was just short of being great... But he was nevertheless a very interesting artist, and he looked at interesting, important things, that is, the city as it was built, and as it was lived by the poor, and these paintings should be seen..."