Fleeting Impressions: Prints by James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
December 16, 2011 – April 7, 2012
Warren & Alice Jones and Paul & Betty Boshard galleries (lower level)
A painter and printmaker who earned as much notoriety as renown, Whistler lived an eventful life on the European stage. An America by birth, raised in Russia and educated in Paris, and eventually residing in London, he was the product of no single country or school, according to curator Diana Turnbow.
His work synthesized the influence of ancient Greece, 17-century Dutch art, Japanese aesthetics and 19-century realism and naturalism. He was an early advocate of aestheticism, pursuing art purely for its beauty, and pioneered pictorial abstraction with compositions he called arrangements, harmonies, symphonies or nocturnes to associate visual poetry with music.
Compared to Rembrandt by his contemporaries, Whistler’s dual dedication to painting and printmaking invigorated the graphic arts movement and fundamentally influenced a generation of artists in the late 19th century. Whistler’s exceptional ability to express the spontaneity of the moment in the labored medium of printmaking marks one of his many gifts as an artist.
“Fleeting Impressions” features images from all phases of his career, including early impressions inspired by travel in France and Germany, his fascination with the Thames River and the working-class neighborhood of Chelsea in London, and his novel perspective of the landmarks and palazzi of Venice.
This exhibition is organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
Museum hours are Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Sunday. For more information click here.