Thomas Chambers Exhibition Now in NYC

“Thomas Chambers (1808-1869): American Marine and Landscape Painter” opened this week at the American Folk Art Museum in New York, and I highly recommend a visit. (I saw the exhibition last year at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it was curated by Kathleen A. Foster, director of that museum’s Center for American Art.) Don’t just take my word for it, however. Here’s Roberta Smith, writing in today’s New York Times: Chambers “aimed to please. His images are like chorus lines singing and dancing their hearts out, ever so slightly off-key and out of step. Every part contributes vocally and vigorously to the whole. The trilling patterns of ocean waves, rounded trees or riverside hedgerows; the sharp-edged mountains and shorelines, overemphatic clouds, glossy rivers and almost lurid sunsets — they all lock arms, and do a little more than their bit. The slight awkwardness amplifies. You see them perform and you see their performance, gaining a greater understanding of the visual appetite by having it thoroughly satisfied.” For more, see my interview with Foster, which was published earlier this year. The show remains on view through March 7, 2010.

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