Thomas Hart Benton, Cut The Line, 1944, oil on board, Navy Art Collection, Naval Historical Center
James Panero reviews the biography Thomas Hart Benton: A Life by Justin Wolff "a keen critical recuperation, if not a defibrillation, of this unique American artist."
Panero notes that "Wolff is at his best exploring the philosophy behind the rise of Benton's new signature style, which he locates in the pragmatism of John Dewey. Benton did more than merely react to the avant-garde. He developed a compelling counterpoint to modernism that he believed was far more populist and progressive than the art theories coming out of Europe. He came to see, writes Wolff, that art “should be instrumental (a favorite term of Dewey’s) and work to clarify ordinary experiences rather than interrogate the mysteries of the world.' "
William Poundstone blogs about rediscovered American Regionalist painter Roger Medearis. Medearis, a student of Thomas Hart Benton, is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at The Huntington Library in San Marino, CA.
Poundstone writes that after Regionalism gave way to Abstract Expressionism "Medearis donned suit and tie to get a real job with Container Corporation of America. He moved back to the Midwest, then to California. In the 1960s dealer Philip Desind 'rediscovered' him. Medearis returned to art and worked up until his death at the age of 81, in San Marino."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.