50-50-50: Charles Burchfield UPDATE | Rock Candy

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

50-50-50: Charles Burchfield UPDATE

Posted By on Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 5:07 PM


click to enlarge Burchfield's "Black Iron," watercolor, 1935.
  • Burchfield's "Black Iron," watercolor, 1935.

This week's artwork in the atrium of the Arkansas Arts Center is Charles Burchfield's "Black Iron" (1935). Beverly Kleckner selected the work for the "50 Works, 50 Weeks, 50 Years" exhibit celebrating the Arts Center's 50 years. The watercolor is a recent gift to the Arts Center Foundation by Hope Aldrich in memory of her father, John D. Rockefeller 3rd.

UPDATE: The work, from his period of realism, came to the Arts Center along with seven drawings and a page of notes the artist made from his diary. The Arts Center passed along this quote from the notes:


I discovered them [the draw bridges] when returning to Seneca St. after a day’s work on "Three Boats in Winter" (1933) The time never seemed ripe to do them, however until this year. I made one trip in to look over the subject, and received a new thrill. An attack of lumbago delayed starting, but finally I felt equal to the task and went in. What a delight! what a joy it was ! The subject "over-powered me." I fell in love with it, and a great happiness came over me. (Early in the thinking about these bridges, the title "Black Iron" occurred to me as a suitable one.) It was difficult working, that first day, but I rejoiced in all the handicaps. For example the ground had not settled yet from the spring thaw, and where I stood it was all sand; engrossed in my work I did not know how treacherous it was until I went to step backward and could not move my feet at first; and I had great difficulty with-drawing them. One of the workers on the bridge seeing my predicament, went and got two box-ends for me to stand on. Then there was the wind from the south-west strong and gusty, with occasional spatters of rain; my easel was not well anchored, the legs sank in the sand loosening the guy-ropes etc. Nothing seemed to matter on this first day. By mid-afternoon the rain increased so much that I had to quit painting; but I had the main lines all blocked in, and the immense black counter-weights practically painted.

On another day a strong cold wind came out of the East; by afternoon a cold rain began to fall which soon changed to snow. The great flurries of snow-flakes as they passed the large black counter-weights were beautiful. Another time, the bridges lifted to allow a lake-freighter to go through, a fine sight.


The Arts Center notes that Burchfield worked in a more fantastic style prior to and after the watercolor of the New York State railroad bridges above, and that's the work I particularly like, as readers of Eye Candy will have discerned over the years. As an example of what good taste I have, the Burchfield below sold for $1.2 million at auction last year at Christie's. 

click to enlarge charles-burchfield-american-1893-1967-golden-dream.jpg


Tags: , , , ,


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • LIVE LIFE CHILL NOT DEAD DONE GONE

    Contrary to rumor, Live Life Chill, the bar/restaurant in the erstwhile Revolution Taco and Tequila Lounge space at the corner of Cantrell and President Clinton Avenue, is not closed. Service manager Lindsey McFadin called the Times this afternoon to say a rumor the bar had closed was killing business; by 3 p.m., no one had been in. The Times, too, had heard the rumor from a number of sources. What has changed, McFadin said, is that the bar is now only open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
    • Nov 16, 2018
  • New gallery for SoMa: M2

    M2 Gallery, located for 12 years in the Pleasant Ridge Shopping Center, has made the move to 1300 Main St. in the hopping SoMa neighborhood and will hold its Grand (Re)opening from 5-8 p.m. Nov. 30.
    • Nov 16, 2018
  • Entergy agrees to end coal-burning in Arkansas in Sierra Club settlement

    Under a settlement agreement filed in federal court today, Entergy Arkansas has agreed to quit burning coal at its White Bluff plant by the end of 2028, its Independence plant by the end of 2030 and to shutter its remaining operating plant at Lake Catherine by the end of 2027.
    • Nov 16, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Chocolate gravy and such in Jasper

    • I'm from Amarillo,Tx. My Mother made this all the time. She is from Clinton,OK. I…

    • on November 17, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation