When George Bellows died at the age of forty-two in 1925, he was hailed as one of the greatest artists America had yet produced. In 2012 the National Gallery of Art presents the first comprehensive exhibition of Bellows’ career in more than three decades. George Bellows includes some 130 paintings, drawings, and lithographs.
This exhibition begins with Bellows’ renowned paintings of tenement children, boxers, and the urban landscape of New York. These iconic images of the modern city were made during an extraordinary period of creativity for the artist, from shortly after his arrival from Columbus, Ohio, in 1904, up to the Armory Show in 1913, and remain his best-known works.
Complementing the earlier signature masterpieces, groupings bring to light other crucial, yet less familiar, aspects of Bellows’ prodigious achievement, including his Maine seascapes, sporting scenes (polo and tennis), World War I subjects, family portraits, and Woodstock, New York, subjects. Drawings and lithographs will illuminate Bellows’ working methods and the relationships between his various media.