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Artists Albert Pinkham Ryder

Albert Pinkham Ryder

American Painter

Albert Pinkham Ryder Photo
Movements and Styles: Romanticism, Tonalism, Symbolism

Born: March 20, 1847 - New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA

Died: March 28, 1917 - New York City, New York, USA

"What avails a storm cloud accurate in form and color if the storm is not therein?"


Albert Pinkham Ryder was the only American painter whose work was hung in the same gallery as the honoured European masters of the modern, Cézanne, van Gogh, Gauguin, Manet, at the landmark 1913 Armory Show in New York, the exhibition that virtually defined modern in art and introduced the term avant-garde into the way we talk about art. Yet Ryder's approach to his own work was deeply personal, inventive, idiosyncratic, obsessive, and disregarding of "isms." As an intuitive extender of American Romanticism's reach, Ryder's interest in form and tone as means to evoke feelings and moods drew him towards abstract fields of dense but muted color. His paintings are always pictures of something but their abstract qualities also deeply appealed to the modernist interest in surface and the non-pictorial. For Ryder himself, the paintings of eerie light flooding scenes of other-worldly strangeness were vehicles for transporting himself and the viewer to somewhere beyond everyday rationality. Today many of Ryder's canvases and panels have deteriorated and the gradual sinking of his illuminating vision back into literal obscurity is one of the great ironies of modern art.

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