American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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Artist Name:       Allen Tucker
rtist Dates:       1866 - 1939
Painting Title:   
Monhegan Headland Painting Date:      1928 ca.
Oil on Canvas
Signed Lower Right
Private Collection
Size Unframed:   
30 x 36
Size Framed:        34 x 38
Frame Condition: 
Artist Best Price:   $32,200
Offered At:           
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.
Maine master J.H. Connaway's "Monhegan Headland"
The same by Maine impressionist C.H. Woodbury
The same by Tucker contemporary Charles Ebert
Tucker's "The Coast of Maine" now in the Smithsonian
Another example of Tucker's rain technique
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