From the Archives
This week, the opening bustle of the fall art season has us thinking about exhibitions and art criticism, and since we often publish Shotgun Reviews on Sundays, it seems especially relevant to share a previous submission from our archives. Although all the Shotgun Reviews we have published are written with sensitivity and care, this one always stands out in our minds as exceptional—not just for the quality of the writing, but also because the author was just thirteen years old at the time of publication. Folks, it’s never too early—or too late—to write about art.
Shotgun Reviews are an open forum where we invite the international art community to contribute timely, short-format responses to an exhibition or event. If you are interested in submitting a Shotgun Review, please click this link for more information. This week’s Shotgun Review was written by Irene Gerenrot, who participated in Art Practical’s March 2012 Art Smarts writing workshop for middle-school students, produced in conjunction with 826 Valencia and Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco. You can read her review Skull of Santo Guerro (III) on Art Practical.
Fishing Village (1854–55), by Eugene Isabey, stands out from the rest of the paintings in the Legion of Honor’s Impressionists on the Water exhibition, on view through October 13, 2013. Most of the paintings depict water in a very neat fashion and as being calm, as though all rivers are ideal for kayaking and God-created lakes only for races, fanfares, and general fun. Fishing Village illustrates the down-to-earth life of an average 19th-century fishing village: poor, difficult, busy, dirty, alive, and boisterous.
My eye first lit upon a bright spray of sea foam, then traveled down with the dirty brown water to the boats, docked and rocking. It continued on to the people working, the shoddy houses, a brown hill painted with thinner brushstrokes for the grass, and the murky sky.