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Modern Art

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C.R.W. Nevinson Rants About the American Art World (Literary Digest, 1922)

Sounding a good deal like Simon Cowell (b. 1960), British painter C.R.W. Nevinson (1889 - 1946) had some nasty words for the American people and the art market they created.

"Here emphatically they have lost their courage. They are afraid to buy what they like; they rely entirely on the auction-room value. To read the American art news is like reading our "Financial Times". The American art critic has no use for a picture which does not tell a story..."

Pegged as a Futurist, Nevinson is best remembered for his W.W. I paintings of the Western Front, which can be read about here.


Artist of the Ashcan School: John Sloan (Touchstone Magazine, 1919)

The editors of TOUCHSTONE MAGAZINE hired one of John Sloan's (1871-1951) groupies to interview him for one of their feature articles. It is an informative interview and there are a number of seldom seen sketches reproduced; the opening paragraphs give one a sense of what 1920s Greenwich Village was like at night, although one comes away feeling that the man could do no wrong. John Sloan's friend, Robert Henri (1865-1929), when given the chance also failed to make any nasty comments about the painter.


Arthur B. Davies (Vanity Fair Magazine, 1919)

An Arthur B. Davies (1862 - 1928) review written by VANITY FAIR art critic Frederick James Gregg following the opening of an exhibition highlighting the the private collection of N.E. Montross. The critic wrote:

"Since the death of Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847 1917), Mr. Davies has been recognized, by persons abroad who are familiar with art in America, as the leading living painter on this side of the Atlantic."


Harsh Words for the Futurists (Vanity Fair, 1916)

Writing for one of the earliest issues of VANITY FAIR, playwright and culture critic Mary Cass Canfield slammed some nails into the Futurist coffin a wee bit prematurely in this critical essay titled "The Passing of the Futurists".


''Some Italian Futurists with a Past'' (Vanity Fair Magazine, 1915)

VANITY FAIR critic James Huneker(1860 - 1921) had a few words regarding the Italian Futurist painters. Huneker stated that he had been following their progress since he first attended a 1912 Futurist exhibit, and in the subsequent years had gained a familiarity with their 1910 manifesto, which he summed up for this articleVanity Fair critic James Huneker(1860 - 1921) had a few words regarding the Italian Futurist painters. Huneker stated that he had been following their progress since he first attended a 1912 Futurist exhibit, and in the subsequent years had gained a familiarity with their 1910 manifesto, which he summed up for this article.


Russian Modernism After the Revolution (Vanity Fair Magazine, 1919)

"Art alone survives the earthquake shocks of revolution, and Russian art has been doubly secure because of it's deep-rooted imagination and it's passionate sincerity."

That was the word from Oliver M. Sayler writing from Moscow as it starved during the Summer of 1919. Sayler, known primarily for his writings on Russian theater from this period, wrote enthusiastically about the Russian Suprematist Casimir Malyevitch, Futurist David Burliuk and The Jack of Diamonds Group; believing deeply in the Russian Revolution, he wrote not a word about how the Soviets mistreated the modern artists of Russia.


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