Jean Meisel’s Imaginary Seascapes

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Installation of Jean Meisel: 50-65 Horizon Line, an Intersections contemporary art project. Photo: Amy Wike

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Jean Meisel, Untitled watercolor, 1970s-2013. Photo: Rhiannon Newman

Installation of Washington-based artist Jean Meisel’s 50–65 Horizon Line is nearly complete in an intimate gallery on the second floor of the house. Meisel began creating these tiny paintings, none measuring more than six inches, during the 1970s and hasn’t stopped since. While the works might evoke memories of landscapes and seascapes encountered by viewers, these endearing scenes are in fact all created from the artist’s imagination.

Meisel will discuss her work in an Artist’s Perspective at 6:30 pm on Thursday, January 30.

 

The Snow Roller

Rockwell Kent, The Road Roller, 1909

Rockwell Kent, The Road Roller, 1909. Oil on canvas, 34 1/8 x 44 1/4 in. Acquired 1918. The Phillips Collection, Washington DC

Every time I come to work in the snow, I think of this painting. While living in Dublin, New Hampshire, a place far more acquainted with snow than DC, Rockwell Kent painted what he himself referred to as his “best known example of that winter’s work.” Moving powerfully down the driveway of the house he shared with his friend Gerald Thayer, the roller packed the snow on the roads to make way for horse-drawn sleighs. This is one of the few paintings Kent preceded with a preliminary sketch, housed in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Van Gogh Paints the Working Class

 

Vincent van Gogh, The Road Menders, 1889. Oil on canvas, 29 x 36 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1949.

Vincent van Gogh, The Road Menders, 1889. Oil on canvas, 29 x 36 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1949.

Throughout his career, van Gogh was very interested in depicting the lives of the working class. In The Road Menders, he paints laborers in the French town Saint-Rémy.

How many different workers can you find in this composition? Look at the figures’ postures, and their surroundings. What words would you use to describe the characters? How do you think van Gogh felt about them?