John Sloan

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McSorley's Bar
1912; John Sloan (American, 1871-1951); Oil on canvas; 66 x 81.3 cm (26 x 32 in.)

Henri encouraged his friend and protégé John Sloan (1871-1951) to portray what was most familiar to him--the streets and sidewalks of the American urban landscape.  In fact, Sloan happened upon the scene depicted in Hairdresser's Window on the ay to visit Henri at his New York studio.  He was so taken with the hairdresser's shop that he returned home to paint it from memory and, in his words, "without disguise."  In the signs adorning the facade, Sloan introduced amusing puns such as one announcing the shop of :Madame Malcomb."  Because Sloan and his fellow Ashcan  School painters searched for artistic potential within the most commonplace subjects, including commercial advertisements, they can be regarded as early forerunners of the 1960s Pop art.  Andy Warhol, for example, admired Sloan's work.  

John Sloan. The Wake of the Ferry

Sloan offered an alternative to the teeming life of city streets in The Wake of the Ferry II, 1907, where the delicately brushed passages that describe a misty sky and blue green water recall Henri but also Maurer and Whistler.  Here a solitary passenger looks out over New York Harbor from the stern of a commuter ferryboat.  New York's waterways Provided subjects rich with possibilities for other American painters, including Henri and Glackens, as well as for poets such as Walt Whitman, whose 1856 poem, "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," contributed to Sloan's choice of subject.  And in the year Sloan's picture appeared, American photographer Alfred Stieglitz captured a related subject with his camera. The Steerage)

Alfred Stieglitz. The Steerage

Arnason, H.H., Marla F. Prather. History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Photography. 4th. ed. New York: Abrams, 1998.


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Revised: 29 Nov 2000 14:30:28 -0500 .