Sunday, June 03, 2012

In Depth Isms 2

George M. Bruestle, Light and Shadows
While predominantly a painter of landscapes, George Bruestle could be more accurately described as a painter of sunlight.  The intensity with which he renders light as if falls on rocks, fields, and foliage makes his small and intimate landscapes radiate.  Light and Shadows is rare in Bruestle’s oeuvre for its large size, making his characteristic loose paint handling seem even more expressionistic by its scale.  Bruestle’s trademark juxtaposition of light and dark comes through in the contrast of sun bleached rocks and white fencing against the darker wooded recesses and cast shadows of the canvas.  The ripple and swell of the ground recalls the geological upheaval that took place as glaciers deposited these rocks across the region. 
Bruestle moved with his family to the village of Hamburg, just north of Old Lyme in 1905, after visiting the area year after year.  Although not directly involved with the group residing at Florence Griswold’s boarding house, many colony artists lived in the countryside outside of town, including Robert Vonnoh, Eugene Higgins, and Oscar Fehrer.  Bruestle was one of the earliest painters to come to the region and one of the first to introduce an Impressionist style to the colony there.  His son Bertram also trained as an artist and carried on a family tradition of painting the Connecticut landscape.

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