Six Degrees of George Wesley Bellows

Brooke Friedman

Sometimes there are coincidences, in life and in art.  Alex Cooper is very thrilled to have one such coincidence in our January 27th auction as we offer the very famous lithograph, “A Stag at Sharkey’s,” by George Wesley Bellows (lot 908).  Known for his role in the Ashcan School and for depicting sports and New York City life scenes, Bellows’ work is larger than life.  The lithograph is a print of the 1909 oil painting, “A Stag at Sharkey’s,” which depicts two boxers fighting in a private athletic club.  Bellows used rapid paint strokes to create a blurred effect which achieves the illusion of the boxers in motion.

For a period of time George Bellows was in Baltimore, the home of Alex Cooper, teaching painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art.  And, during this time, he had a student named Robert Reid Browne.  Robert Browne became a well renowned, prolific Baltimore artist who recently passed away at the age of 91.  Mr. Browne painted several pieces in the Bellows style and we are beyond pleased to also be able to offer an original boxing oil painting (lot 909) by Robert Reid Browne painted in his teacher’s unique style.  The Browne estate has also entrusted  Alex Cooper with a lot of four original charcoal drawings (lot 910) and a collection of the artist’s books, to be auctioned at a later date.

Fans of Bellows will recognize his influence immediately upon viewing the boxing scene depicted by Browne.  The motion achieved in the piece and the low vantage point are quintessentially Bellows.  What a rare treat for us to be able to present the work of both the teacher and the student, side by side, at auction.

For more information about this auction click here.

Kathleen Hamill: Contemporary Art Specialist

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