Artwork of the Week: August 2018 (Week 33)
George B. Luks (1867-1933), Portrait of a Gentleman, c.1900, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Lynn G. Foster, 1975.
In this portrait, George Luks imbues this unknown gentleman with a sense of import and dignity. Born August 13, 1867, Luks sought to capture late nineteenth-century American life through a distinctive use of quick, loose brushstrokes and rich paint tones—a developing style evident in this early portrait. His progressive ideas aligned him with the Ashcan School, an informal artistic group interested in depicting urban scenes and working-class Americans. Luks and fellow Ashcan artists challenged the more traditional style taught at art institutions and championed more relevant, true-to-life artistic expression at the turn of the century.