"Impressionism and Beyond: American and Continental Art" will open Thursday, July 27 at the Wiscasset Bay Gallery. The gallery is celebrating its 39th year and the exhibition opening coincides with the Wiscasset Village Art Walk, which runs from 5 to 8 p.m.
"Impressionism and Beyond" will explore the artistic movement of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, Modernism and contemporary art by artists from Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan, Russia, France, Great Britain and the United States.
Among the works of particular note is a dynamic watercolor by American artist, Alice Kent Stoddard (1884-1976) of island fishermen cleaning fish on the beach in Monhegan Harbor. Loose, energetic brushstrokes combined with rich blues and splashes of orange give the work a vigor and immediacy. Stoddard was a combat artist in World War I capturing the bravery of the US soldiers as well as the plight of the French refugees. She first came to Monhegan in 1909 to visit her aunt, Sarah Kent, and first cousin, Rockwell Kent. Stoddard soon became part of Monhegan Island life and captured on canvas and paper many of the island's famous artists, as well as the rugged fishermen. Rockwell Kent considered her one of the finest portrait painters in America.
Moving into Post-Impressionism and Modernism, the show continues with works by Pierre Bonnard, Marc Chagall, Andre Derain, Pablo Picasso and Georges Rouault. Rouault's Paysens (Peasants) from 1936 is a bold aquatint in blacks, reds, deep blues and yellow. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, houses Rouault's trial proof of this work in black and white before the artist's hand-coloring.
Among the Maine artists represented in the show are William Thon, Andrew Winter, Jay Hall Connaway, Morris Shulman, Neil Welliver and Sears Gallagher. Of particular note is a collection of William Thon oils and watercolors ranging from the artist's harder edge modernism of the 1940s and 1950s to his delicate, ethereal works of the 1980s.
"Impressionism and Beyond: American and Continental Art" will be on display through Aug. 30. For further information, please call (207)882-7682 or visit the gallery's website at www.wiscassetbaygallery.com. The Wiscasset Bay Gallery is located at 75 Main St./Route 1, in historic Wiscasset Village.