Eyes across the Atlantic: Tom Rosenthal on Britain's Fertile Relationship with American Painters

New Statesman (1996), May 24, 2013 | Go to article overview

Eyes across the Atlantic: Tom Rosenthal on Britain's Fertile Relationship with American Painters


One of the highlights of my childhood in wartime Manchester was watching, with a crowd of one's fairly ragged contemporaries, the morning muster of the American soldiers stationed nearby. Their parade ground was the bare Tarmac in front of the row of local shops. After the men had had their mail distributed, they were, by our tiny rational standards, showered with a cornucopia of cigarettes, chewing gum, sweets and chocolate. If one asked nicely, one could get a packet of Wrigley's gum, an entire Hershey bar or a tube of Life Savers - a brief glimpse of paradise.

It was many years later that I learned that our impoverished, adult civilian population did not love the Yanks as we urchins did. I had long forgotten this part of my childhood but recent art events have reminded me that they may not necessarily be either over-paid or oversexed but they are indubitably over here, again.

In the past weeks, we have had simultaneous major exhibitions by six of the most celebrated American artists: Roy Lichtenstein at Tate Modem, George Bellows at the Royal Academy, Frederic Church at the National Gallery, George Catlin and Man Ray at the National Portrait Gallery and R B Kitaj, whose oeuvre is so large that he has been posthumously shared between the Jewish Museum in London and Pallant House in Chichester.

Some of these great exhibitions have now closed in London but Cadin's show is at the National Portrait Gallery until 23 June and will be at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery from July to October. Ray doses in London on 27 May but will be at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery from 22 June to 8 September. Lichtenstein will be in Paris at the Pompidou from 3 July to 4 November. Church will be at the Scottish National Gallery until 8 September. Bellows is at the Royal Academy until 9 June and the two Kitaj shows end on 16 June. Alas, neither of the last two artists will continue their travels; but for the avid metropolitan gallery-goer, it has been a period of infinite riches.

Each of these invading Americans has something either important or interesting - or both - to contribute. Lichtenstein's principal trademark remains the conversion of the tiny dots of comics for the semi-literate and the lovelorn into the large, coloured dots of his massive blow-ups of genuine trash. This has not turned him into a great artist but, even as a one-trick pony, he has been the most influential painter of the pop art movement on both sides of the Atlantic.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Ray is a portraitist of genius, a formal challenger to the informal and contemporary Henri Cartier-Bresson. Ray differs from Cartier-Bresson by possessing a sly, erotic humour. He has captured for cultural posterity almost the entire range of the writers, intellectuals and artists of interwar Paris. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Eyes across the Atlantic: Tom Rosenthal on Britain's Fertile Relationship with American Painters
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.