Born in August 1882, George Bellows was an extremely talented realist painter who did not shy away from the less picturesque scenes of urban life in New York City. At a time when fine paintings often depicted wealthy families or luscious scenery, Bellows focus on “Cliff Dwellers” (the name of one of Bellows most famous paintings) and the chaotic working-class lifestyles made him revolutionary. George Bellows was an American born artist raised in Columbus, Ohio. He stayed in Ohio until 1904 when he decided to move to New York City to study art.
By the end of George Bellows' career, he began to center his work around boxers, focusing on their movement. One of his most famous oil paintings was called Club Night as shown below. (1907)
I chose to focus on Bellows because I admire his vision to paint a different scene than expected during his time. He saw value and beauty in the grungy middle-class streets of New York. By doing so, he was able to make commentary on the elite upper class who so often failed to see those with less money as equals. I am also very drawn to his use of light and dark in order to suggest movement in his pieces.
Resources: Corbett, David Peters. “Decreation and Undoing: George Bellows's Excavation Paintings, 1907–1909.”Art History, vol. 40, no. 4, 2017, pp. 838–855., doi:10.1111/1467-8365.12342. Fagg, John. “Anecdote and the Painting of George Bellows.” Journal of American Studies, vol. 38, no. 3, 2004, pp. 473–488., doi:10.1017/S0021875804008758. Wolner, Edward W. “George Bellows, Georg Simmel, and Modernizing New York.” American Art, vol. 29, no. 1, 2015, pp. 106–121., doi:10.1086/681650.