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A Tour of the Phillips Collection at Amon Carter

Georgia O'Keefe, Pattern of Leaves
Georgia O'Keefe, Pattern of Leaves

"To See As Artists See: American Art from The Phillips Collection," in its final week at the Amon Carter in Fort Worth, moves through a tidy, accessible chronology of 20th century art. It doesn't delve into anything you'd be embarrassed to look at it with kids or grandparents, but it does offer such a wide range of styles that there's bound to be something satisfying to everyone. Its effort to seamlessly complement the Amon's own collection works to a fault: Impressionist cityscapes and countrysides, peppy abstractions, crisp experiments in Cubism - they bring contentment, if no surprises.

Even this show's paintings by Georgia O'Keefe are safely nonsuggestive. But without that hint of the erotic so often present in her work, an O'Keefe painting can still knock me out; here, it's "Pattern of Leaves" (1923), a reminder of the artist's underrated, spongelike ability to extract pure forms from the natural world. But in this show, it's the urban sensibility that shines, whether by the clarity of 1933 New York City at dawn in Edward Bruce's "Power" or Childe Hassam's breathy interpretation of young Greenwich Village in "Washington Arch, Spring" (1890). Stuart Davis' "Blue Cafe" is pastiche of textures that fooled me into thinking they were not, in fact, entirely oil paint; I thought he had fused paper and sandpaper into the work. Though the styles vary in tune with their times, life-in-the-city's brooding atmosphere, heavy with unspoken emotional dramas, was a welcome subject to Duncan Phillips, whose namesake collection became a Washington, D.C. museum in 1961, five years before his death.

To See As Artists See: American Art from The Phillips Collection runs through January 6th at Fort Worth's Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

And now, a digital mini-tour of the show with something for everyone:

Stuart Davis, Blue Cafe
Stuart Davis, Blue Cafe
Childe Hassam, Washington Arch, Spring
Childe Hassam, Washington Arch, Spring
John Sloan, Six O'Clock, Winter
John Sloan, Six O'Clock, Winter
Charles Sheeler, Skyscrapers
Charles Sheeler, Skyscrapers
Mark Rothko, Untitled
Mark Rothko, Untitled
Jackson Pollock, Composition
Jackson Pollock, Composition
Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, Panel no. 3: From every southern town migrants left by the hundreds to travel north.
Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, Panel no. 3: From every southern town migrants left by the hundreds to travel north.
Walt Kuhn, Plumes
Walt Kuhn, Plumes
Edward Hopper, Sunday
Edward Hopper, Sunday
Winslow Homer, To the Rescue
Winslow Homer, To the Rescue
Adolph Gottlieb, The Seer
Adolph Gottlieb, The Seer
Thomas Eakins, Miss Amelia Van Buren
Thomas Eakins, Miss Amelia Van Buren
Richard Diebenkorn, Girl with Plant
Richard Diebenkorn, Girl with Plant
Arthur G. Dove, Red Sun
Arthur G. Dove, Red Sun

Images courtesy of The Phillips Collection.


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