By joannearnold, Aug 5 2015 02:20PM
Any given day, Cooperstown is a good visit especially when it starts with lunching at the Blue Mingo Grill. Baseball has never been the gig for me but, the Fenimore Art Museum is. Situated on Otsego Lake, the building is stunning & the views even more so. Every summer there’s a decent exhibition and this summer is no exception.
“Maxfield Parrish , Art of Light and Illusion” is this summer’s treat. He was a familiar artist in the college poster days but I can’t say I had ever seen his work live. It was a thrill to see a nice tight grouping of his work. The variety of work in the 1920’s & 30’s show an unusual approach to what I consider atmospheric fantasy figurative paintings. A critic described Parrish’s work as “hallucinatory high octane realism.”
Many of his paintings contain “Parrish blue” which is the rich early twilight blue that makes one want to swim or float in. It’s simply beautiful.
I was surprised that photography was a common tool he used with the figure. He’d make a cut-out to trace and incorporate it to aid in size and proportion. Seems like cheating but just a modern day tool back in the day. I dare say it’s done more today using a computer.
The most intriguing information about the artist was his wood working prowess. In his studio he created intricate wooden models of farm structures. He’d then light the structure at different angles and paint a completely self-created landscape. This approach would conjure unusual perspectives but appear as an actual place. The exhibit is small but worth seeing and will be on display until September 7th.