New Year's Shooter

 
Artist
Creation date
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
36 x 26 in. 40-3/8 x 31 in. (framed)
Credit line
Gift of Mrs. Albert J. Beveridge
Accession number
38.5
Collection
Currently On View

The colorful palette of this painting is in keeping with the gaiety and theatricality of the subject.

New Year's Shooter was painted about the time of the exhibition of The Eight, a group of artists who opposed traditional painting formulas based on careful drawing and modeling.

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Urban Realism

George Luks

New Year’s Shooter, about 1907

oil on canvas

36 x 26 in.

Gift of Mrs. Albert J. Beveridge

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George Luks was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and received his first art instruction from his parents who painted as a hobby.  His formal education began at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and then in Düsseldorf, Germany.  He also traveled to London and Paris returning to the United States to work as an artist for Philadelphia newspapers.  He roomed with fellow illustrator Everett Shinn and became acquainted with George Luks, William Glackens, John Sloan and later Robert Henri who, along with Shinn, became known as the Philadelphia Five.  Luks also drew comic strips, but gave up illustration to become a full time artist.  His career as an illustrator drew his interests to painting urban street scenes. Luks had a vibrant, sometime raucous, personality that is expressed in his lively portraits and urban subjects.  He joined Robert Henri’s circle in their depictions of city life and became part of the Ashcan School.   He was also a member of the rebellious group known as “The Eight” who exhibited at Macbeth Gallery in New York in 1908.  Because Luks was a heavy drinker, he became involved in a barroom brawl that ended in his death.

New Year’s Shooter dates from around the first exhibition of The Eight, who had banded together to oppose the rigid formulas of academic painting.  He shared with Robert Henri an energetic brushwork, patterned after the dynamic seventeenth-century Dutch painter Frans Hals.  Luks sympathized with the powerless – immigrants, the poor, children – and was at his best when portraying them.  The colorful palette of New Year’s Shooter is in tune with the gaiety and theatricality of the subject.

Reference

Michael Owen, Valerie Leeds, Andrew Thompson. The Eight: Exhibition of Arthur B. Davis, William Glackens; Robert Henri; Ernest Lawson; George Luks; Maurice Prendergast; Everett Shinn; John Sloan, New York: Owen Gallery, 2002. ASIN: B000LL6PGQ