The Landscape Painter
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut. Gift of the Estate of George Deem, 2013.
| Image Notes
Inscribed on the reverse by the artist: George Deem / The Landscape Painter / 24 x 32 inches / Oil on canvas, / 1993.
| Artist's Notes
Vitaly Komar, a Russian painter who lives in New York now, came to visit my studio this week. He was delighted to recognize the tree in my "Landscape Painter" paintings. "That is Shishkin's oak tree!" he said. (George Deem, fax letter to Christiane Hertel, April 18, 1999)
The Landscape Painter, 1993. The artist's studio in The Landscape Painter is illuminated from a single light source emanating from the landscape which I have painted on a table as if it were a still-life arrangement. (George Deem, How To Paint A Vermeer: A Painter's History of Art, Thames & Hudson, New York, 2004).
The Landscape Painter is a play on the categories of picture-making: landscape, still life, interior. I have painted a landscape as if it were a still-life arrangement on a table in a painter's studio. (George Deem. Undated note).
A painter at work is the subject of The Landscape Painter...and of the oil-on-paper study with the same title that preceded it...I quoted (the figure of the painter standing at the easel and facing the landscape on the table) from a painting by N. C. Wyeth because I liked the gesture and the energy of his pose as emblematic of the artist engaged with the canvas on his easel. I also wanted to avoid an autobiographical image, an identification of the painter with myself that would interfere with the perception of the artist at work in his studio as a timeless scenario...One of the challenges was to solve the problems posed by so many horizontals ---a horizontal table, a horizontal landscape, a horizontal shadow under the table. I needed more space on the right, and I opened up the painting on that side, introducing the rug on the floor. I also opened the painting at the top, with clouds and light rising to lift the ceiling. I wanted the painting to be long like a landscape, not too long, just long enough; and I wanted the landscape on the table to be so luminous that it would account for the drama of the shadows. (George Deem, New York, September 14th, 1999).
Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, Evansville, Indiana
The Boston Athenaeum, Boston, Massachusetts