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Frederic Remington: The Color of Night

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In the decade preceding his untimely death, Frederic Remington (1861-1909) produced a series of paintings that took as their subject the color of night. This richly illustrated volume is the first to present all of these works—some seventy paintings that secured for Remington the critical acclaim he so coveted. Indeed, these magnificent nocturnes marked an important new direction for the celebrated illustrator, writer, and sculptor of America's vanishing frontier. In these deeply personal works, Remington ...

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Overview

In the decade preceding his untimely death, Frederic Remington (1861-1909) produced a series of paintings that took as their subject the color of night. This richly illustrated volume is the first to present all of these works—some seventy paintings that secured for Remington the critical acclaim he so coveted. Indeed, these magnificent nocturnes marked an important new direction for the celebrated illustrator, writer, and sculptor of America's vanishing frontier. In these deeply personal works, Remington explored the technical and aesthetic difficulties of painting darkness. Surprisingly, his images are filled with color and light—moonlight, firelight, candlelight. Focused on the subject the artist had made his own—the American West—these paintings reflect Remington's dramatic reworking of the narrative tradition as well as the spare modernism of his late work.Frederic Remington: The Color of Night, accompanying the first exhibition devoted to the nocturnes, includes three insightful essays discussing Remington's nocturnes within the literary, historical, aesthetic, and technological context of his time. The nocturnes do much more than document a night that was rapidly disappearing under bright, newly installed electric lights. They also reveal how this son of a Civil War hero moved from burnishing Theodore Roosevelt's rough riding heroics in Cuba to exploring, like Stephen Crane and Ernest Hemingway, his own soul-searing war experience, and, like Joseph Conrad, to probing America's own heart of darkness. As the definitive resource on Remington's nocturnes, this volume pairs large reproductions of these stunning paintings—including newly conserved works and others not seen publicly since the artist's death—with commentary from his personal diaries and letters and from contemporary critics.EXHIBITION SCHEDULE National Gallery of Art, Washington April 13 - July 13, 2003 The Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma August 10 - November 9, 2003 Denver Art Museum December 13, 2003 - March 14, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

American Artist
An unusually candid glimpse of an artist and his work.
Choice
This handsome volume . . . is a carefully researched introduction to the development of night paintings and their role as a bridge to modern art. The perceptive essays in this beautifully illustrated work demonstrate how energetically imaginative, experimental, and modern Remington became when he sought to portray the color of night.
The Art Book
This volume has by far the highest production values of any publication on Frederic Remington, and offers fresh insights from novel approaches to art history, biography and cultural studies. . . . Remington's work is rich enough to allow every generation to see him anew. Frederic Remington: The Color of Night helps us to do just that.
— Christopher Capozzola
Library Journal
Early in his short career, American painter/ sculptor Frederic Remington (1861-1909) had already become the principal avatar of frontier art, and his imagery still stands as the iconographic model that Hollywood culture makers turn to when creating their Western films. During his final decade, Remington, tormented by the thought that he was a mere "illustrator" and not a "fine artist," pushed himself to create narrative scenes of a more challenging variety. Chief among these final works are the 72 nighttime views, which he dubbed his "nocturnes," featured in this richly illustrated monograph-the best book about him currently in print. Driven by the census bureau's famous recognition in 1890 of the closing of the American frontier, his paintings took on an almost paranoid aura of doom best seen in such views as weary horses cornered by wolves or skinny knots of figures lit by campfire. Although, like Norman Rockwell, Remington has until recently been shunned by most of the cognoscenti, these late canvases deserve a second look. The book accompanies an exhibition at the National Gallery, traveling to Tulsa, OK, and the Denver Art Museum. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.-Douglas F. Smith, Oakland P.L., CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691115542
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2003
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 9.84 (w) x 11.48 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Director's Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction 10
What's Out There? Frederic Remington's Art of Darkness 16
Dark Disquiet: Remington's Late Nocturnes 52
Burning Daylight: Remington, Electricity, and Flash Photography 76
The Nocturnes: A Catalogue 96
App Notes on Conservation 196
Lenders to the Exhibition 218
Select Bibliography 219
Index 223
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Recipe

"This new and imaginative look at Remington's night pictures secures the artist's place in the history of American art, rather than exclusively in the history of western American art, and promises to attract a large audience from aficionados of the West to those interested in a cultural history of early-twentieth-century America. Remington's works are well known by most museum goers and beloved by a segment of an even wider public. Clearly written throughout, this book will put him literally in a new light for these and new audiences. By connecting Remington's pictorially and psychologically darkest pictures to Whistler's nocturnes; to Crane, Conrad, and Hemingway; and to the new technologies of electric light and flash photography, Anderson, Nemerov, and Sharpe bring Remington into the twentieth century and give him the place he deserves in a modern world."—Carol Clark, Amherst College

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