Durand retrospective arrives at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

“Kindred Spirits: Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape,” organized by Linda S. Ferber, curated by Eleanor Harvey. Smithsoniam Amercian Art Museum, Washington, DC. Sept. 14- Jan. 6, 2008. The exhibtion originated at the Brooklyn Museum.

In the Washington Post, Paul Richard reports: “Asher B. Durand (1796-1886) formally invites you to hike into his landscapes. Wear stout shoes. Or Natty Bumppo moccasins. And bring a notebook….Though he claimed to be attuned to truth, Durand was somehow able to shut out the disturbing. Eventually this irritates. The viewer grows suspicious. The noble forest trees that he painted with such skill begin to look like stage props decoratively placed. His beneficent sunsets begin to seem too mellow, his farmsteads too Arcadian. The longer that one wends one’s way deep into his paintings, especially the larger ones, the less one wholly trusts them. They seem too good to be true.” Read more. Also at SAAM, stop by the show of Sean Scully prints, on view through October 8.

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