American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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Artist Name:       Allen Tucker
A
rtist Dates:       1866 - 1939
Painting Title:    Monhegan
Headland
Painting Date:      1928 ca.
Medium:             Oil on Canvas
Signature:           Signed Lower Right
Provenance:         Private Collection
Condition:            Excellent
Size Unframed:    30 x 36
Size Framed:        34 x 38
Frame Condition:  Reproduction
Artist Best Price:   $32,200
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Maine master J.H. Connaway's "Monhegan Headland"
The same by Maine impressionist C.H. Woodbury
The same by Tucker contemporary Charles Ebert
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Prior Catalogue Page
Another example of Tucker's rain technique
Tucker's "The Coast of Maine" now in the Smithsonian
Curator's Comments: Tucker was born in
Brooklyn in 1866 and graduated from the School of
Mines of Columbia University with a degree in
architecture and took a job as an architectural
draftsman in the architectural firm of McIvaine and
Tucker, his father's business. During that time, he
studied painting at the Art Students League with
Impressionist John H. Twachtman, but it was not until
around 1904, when he was 38, that Tucker became a
full-time painter, leaving architecture behind. Many of
his early canvases were classically Impressionistic
with poplar trees and haystacks and corn shocks
emulating those of Claude Monet. To our good
fortune, Tucker developed his own unique Americasn
impressionist style, like Ryder and Stevens, and he
took Fauvism as his starting point. However, he went
further than the naif style, influenced chiefly by Van
Gogh, and indeed he was called "the American Van
Gogh." Maurice Prendergast is also credited as having
an influence on Tucker's brushwork and compositions.
However, as his painting evolved, Tucker achieved a
unique artistry that did not fit into any tidy slot for
description, and he was known as an individualist not
easily categorized in American art history, though he
is referenced in Gerdts. His modernist impulses led
him to become, in 1911, a charter member of the
Association of American Painters and Sculptors, the
group that would conceive, organize, select the artists
for and hang the 1913 Armory Show that shocked
many persons by introducing abstract art to America.
Tucker helped organize and exhibited in the landmark
Armory Show of 1913 and in 1919 was also part of
founding the Society of Independent Artists, a group
that rebelled against traditionalism.

In 1918, Tucker had his first large one-man show at
the Whitney Studio Club (later the Whitney Museum
of American Art) and became an advisor to  Juliana
Force, who directed the Whitney Studio and the
Whitney Studio Club. He was an Honorary Member of
the Art Students' League, and taught at the League
from 1921 to 1928. Tucker also wrote "Design and
Idea," published in 1930.  His summers were spent
painting in New Mexico, on the New England coast, in
the Colorado and Canadian Rockies and in Europe.
Allen Tucker died in New York City in 1939. Tucker
has 14 pieces in the Smithsonian, 2 in the National
Gallery, and 5 in New York's Metropolitan Museum.
We are proud to offer his brilliant "
Monhegan
Headland
." As some will recognize, the view here is
the classic perspective on the Monhegan clifts and
thes famous Black Rock. We show three identical
perspectives by Maine legends, Connaway, Woodbury
and Ebert, all of whom took the same stance. Note
also the white diagonal pinpoint striping, which is
difficult to see in our image, and which we give
another example of. This is Tucker's technique with
rain. He portrayed the Monhegan bluff in a summer
sunshine squall, bathing the rock, and showing its
potential for life. This is truly a head-land, and the
suggestion of brain-like convolutions makes the
massive stone into a humanized consciousness with
waves of its own. The living rock was clearly Tucker's
goal in this important and truly brilliant work. Our
image just doesn't capture the glow emanating from
his sky. Tucker knew that legions of artists had tried
to capture the perfection of Monhegan's natural
beauty. But he understood Monhegan not as another
place of perfection, but as a natural artwork itself, and
he wanted his own artwork to understand just that
truth.