El tema central de este Blog es LA FILOSOFÍA DE LA CABAÑA y/o EL REGRESO A LA NATURALEZA o sobre la construcción de un "paradiso perduto" y encontrar un lugar en él. La experiencia de la quietud silenciosa en la contemplación y la conexión entre el corazón y la tierra. La cabaña como objeto y método de pensamiento. Una cabaña para aprender a vivir de nuevo, y como ejemplo de que otras maneras de vivir son posibles sobre la tierra.

viernes, 6 de julio de 2012

Rockwell Kent, paisajista, ilustrador, aventurero y cabañas

Rockwell Kent 
Paisajista e ilustrador norteamericano.

El pintor, ilustrador y escritor norteamericano Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) nació en Tarrytown, Nueva York. Inspiraron su obra Thoreau, Emerson y William Blake. Ha sido comparado con Nicolás Roerich, por sus contrastes de luz y sombras, su inspiración en la naturaleza más agreste y un cierto aire espiritual.
En sus óleos fue representando los paisajes de los lugares en los que residió: Mount Monadnock, New Hampshire, Monhegan Island, Maine y los que conoció en sus viajes por Alaska, Tierra del Fuego, Irlanda y Groenlandia.
“El arte no es más que la sombra proyectada por la propia estatura del hombre.” (Rockwell Kent)
En los años 30 Kent ya era un artista de renombre. Pero después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, hubo dos factores que perjudicaron su carrera: uno, artístico, el auge del abstracto; y otro político, la “caza de brujas” contra los izquierdistas desencadenada por el senador McCarthy. El Departamento de Estado le retiró el pasaporte y muchas instituciones rehusaron exponer sus trabajos. En 1958, coincidiendo con el final del macarthismo, la Corte Suprema falló a favor de Kent y su pasaporte le fue devuelto.
Kent era miembro de un sindicato izquierdista y trabajó en favor de la amistad entre EEUU y la URSS y del desarme nuclear. Fue elegido miembro de la Academia Soviética de Bellas Artes. En los años 40 se trasladó a vivir a una granja -a la que llamó Asgaard- no lejos de Nueva York, en la que vivió y trabajó hasta su muerte.
Relató sus viajes en varios libros, como el titulado Wilderness: A Journey of Quiet Adventure in Alaska, que fue un éxito en su época. También trabajó para revistas como Vanity Fair, New York Tribune y Life, en las que publicó dibujos, algunos de los cuales fueron calificados de ‘irreverentes’.
Como ilustrador, es conocido por Moby Dick, los poemas de Walt Whitman, las obras completas de Shakespeare y el Decamerón. Creó los murales para el teatro Cape Cinema de Dennis, Massachusetts, y para la Oficina Central de Correos de Washington.

Rockwell Kent
Rockwell Kent (1882-1971)
Foto: Plattsburgh State Art Museum
de Rockwell Kent Colección
Legado de Sally Kent Borton

Man Reading in a Cabin.


Rockwell Kent was born in Tarrytown, New York, the same year as fellow American artists George Bellows and Edward Hopper. Kent lived much of his early life in and around New York City, and moved in his mid-40s to an Adirondack farmstead that he called Asgaard where he lived and painted until his death. Kent studied with the influential painters and theorists of his day. He studied composition and design with Arthur Wesley Dow at the Art Students League in the fall of 1900, and he studied painting with William Merritt Chase each of the three summers between 1900 and 1902 after which he entered, in the fall of 1902 Robert Henri's class at the New York School of Art, which Chase had founded. During the summer of 1903 Kent was apprenticed to painter and naturalist Abbott Handerson Thayer. An undergraduate background in architecture at Columbia University prepared Kent for occasional work in the 1900s and 1910s as a draftsman and carpenter.

Kent's early paintings of Mount Monadnock and New Hampshire were first shown at the Society of American Artists in New York in 1904, when Dublin Pond was purchased by Smith College. In 1905 Kent ventured to Monhegan Island, Maine, where he based himself for the next five years. His first series of paintings of Monhegan were shown in 1907 at Clausen Galleries in New York to wide critical acclaim, and they form the foundation of his lasting reputation as an early American modernist. Among those lauding Kent was critic James Huneker of the Sun (who would soon deem the paintings of The Eight to be "decidedly reactionary"). Huneker praised Kent's brushwork as athletic and his colorful dissonances as daring. In 1910, Kent helped organize the Exhibition of Independent Artists.

A transcendentalist and mystic in the tradition of Thoreau and Emerson, whose works he read, Kent found inspiration in the austerity and stark beauty of wilderness. After Monhegan, he lived for extended periods of time in Newfoundland (1914–15), Alaska (1918–19), Tierra del Fuego (1922–23), Ireland (1926), and Greenland (1929; 1931–32; 1934–35)

Asgaard Farm, Mountain Road,
"And there, westward and heavenward, to the high ridge of Whiteface, northward to the northern limit of the mountains, southward to their highest peaks, was spread the full half-circle panorama of the Adirondacks. It was as if we had never seen the mountains before."
—This Is My Own, Rockwell Kent. Jay, New York

In the late summer of 1918 Kent and his nine year-old son ventured to the American frontier of Alaska. Wilderness (1920), the first of Kent's several adventure memoirs, is an edited and illustrated compilation of his letters home. Upon the artist's return to New York in March 1919, publishing scion George Palmer Putnam and others, including Juliana Force—assistant to Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney—implemented their avant-garde notion of incorporating the artist as "Rockwell Kent, Inc." to support him in his new Vermont homestead while he completed his paintings from Alaska for exhibition in 1920 at Knoedler Galleries in New York. Kent's small oil on wood panel sketches from Alaska—uniformly horizontal studies of light and color—were exhibited at Knoedler's as "Impressions." Their artistic lineage to the small and spare oil sketches of James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), which are often entitled "Arrangements," underscores Kent's admiration of Whistler as a "genius."
Approached in 1926 by publisher R. R. Donnelley to produce an illustrated edition of Richard Henry Dana, Jr.'s Two Years Before the Mast, Kent suggested Moby-Dick instead. Published in 1930 by the Lakeside Press of Chicago, the three-volume limited edition filled with Kent's haunting black-and-white pen/brush and ink drawings sold out immediately; Random House produced a trade edition which was also immensely popular. A previously obscure book, Moby Dick had been rediscovered by critics in the early 1920s. The success of the Rockwell Kent illustrated edition was a factor in its becoming recognized as the classic it is today.
Less well known are Kent's talents as a jazz age humorist. As the gifted pen-and-ink draftsman "Hogarth, Jr.", Kent created a wealth of whimsical and irreverent drawings published by Vanity Fair, New York Tribune, Harper's Weekly, and the original Life. He brought his Hogarth, Jr. style to a series of richly colored reverse paintings on glass which he completed in 1918 and exhibited at Wanamaker's Department Store. (Two of these glass paintings are in the collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, part of the bequest of modernist collector Ferdinand Howald.) Further decorative work ensued intermittently: in 1939, Vernon Kilns reproduced three series of designs drawn by Kent (Moby Dick, Salamina, Our America) on its sets of contemporary china dinnerware. Among his many contributions between the world wars to the world of publishing, for both an elite and a popular audience, are his pen, brush, and ink drawings that were reproduced on the covers of the upmarket pulp magazine Adventure in 1927. [1]
Raymond Moore, founder and impresario of the Cape Playhouse and Cinema in Dennis, Massachusetts, contracted with Rockwell Kent for the design of murals for the cinema, but the work of transferring and painting the designs on the 6,400-square-foot (590 m2) span was done by Kent's collaborator Jo Mielziner (1901–1976) and a crew of stage set painters from New York City. Ostensibly staying away from the state of Massachusetts to protest the Sacco and Vanzetti executions of 1927, Kent did in fact venture to Dennis in June 1930 to spend three days on the scaffolding, making suggestions and corrections. The signatures of both Kent and Mielziner appear on opposite walls of the cinema.
As World War II approached, Kent shifted his priorities, becoming increasingly active in progressive politics. In 1938 the U.S. Post Office asked him to paint a mural in their headquarters in Washington, DC; Kent included (in Inuit dialect and in tiny letters) a polemical statement in the painting, which caused some consternation.[2] In 1939, he joined the Harlem Lodge of the International Workers Order (IWO), an organization devoted to the social and economic welfare of the working public.
Increasingly supportive of Soviet-American friendship and a world devoid of nuclear weapons, Kent and his identity as an American painter receded in the postwar years; he became, along with hundreds of other prominent intellectuals and creative artists, a target of those in league with Joseph McCarthy. The rise of abstract expressionism cast a further shadow over such representational painters as Hopper, Bellows, and Kent. In 1960 Kent donated several hundred of his paintings and drawings to the Soviet peoples and became an honorary member of the Soviet Academy of Fine Arts; he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1967. (Although many believe that Kent donated the prize money to the people of North Vietnam, an interview with Kent's wife Sally that appears in a 2006 documentary about his life clarifies that Kent specified that the money be given to the women and children of Vietnam—both North and South.)

Interior, Alaskan cabin, Resurrection Bay, Alaska, 1918–19
Interior, Alaskan cabin, Resurrection Bay, Alaska, 1918–19

After his expulsion from Newfoundland, Kent and his family returned to New York. Money woes were mounting (Kathleen had given birth to their fourth child). Despite his financial straits, he began laying plans for a lengthy escape to Alaska, a last-ditch effort to salvage his career as a painter.
When art collector Ferdinand Howald agreed to advance him the funds to support his family, Kent’s Alaskan odyssey drew near. Though eager to enter the wild, he did not look forward to the loneliness.
Kathleen refused to leave the children with her parents and accompany him, but she agreed to let 9-year-old Rocky join his father on the journey.
While exploring Resurrection Bay in a borrowed rowboat, Kent and young Rocky hailed an old man in a motor-driven dory. “Come with me,” said 71-year-old Lars Olsen, the sole human inhabitant of Fox Island. “I show you the place to live.”
Kent renovated an abandoned goat shed, turning it into a comfortable home. For seven months he reveled in this world of isolation and creativity. Homesick for his family, however, and fearing his marriage would finally crumble, he left in March of 1919.
“Ah, god, and now the world again.”
The exhibitions of his paintings and drawings that followed re-launched Kent’s career as an artist.


Rockwell Kent III, known as Rocky, outside Kent’s Alaskan cabin.
Rockwell Kent III, known as Rocky, outside Kent’s Alaskan cabin. 

ROCKWELL KENT (1882-1971) was one of America’s most celebrated graphic artists. At the height of his career, during the 1930’s and 1940’s, Kent’s artwork appeared virtually everywhere. Although his illustrations for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and Moby Dick are perhaps his most famous artistic achievements, Kent also created the “random house” that, despite revision through the years, has been the colophon of that company since its inception in 1928. A highly vocal political activist, Kent’s refusal to comply with McCarthy’s Committee on Un-American Activities and his subsequent denunciation of the Vietnam War resulted in his general dismissal from the art world. Kent’s travel books, which include Wilderness, Voyaging, N by E, Salamina , and Greenland Journal, have all appeared in limited editions since his death-a tribute to their perennial appeal.

File:Rockwell Kent studio at Asgaard Farm, Ausable Forks, NY.jpg

Rockwell Kent studio at Asgaard Farm, Ausable Forks, NY

Rockwell Kent
El marinero como artista, el artista como marinero
Pocos artistas han dejado su marca como marineros, menos aún, han escrito libros que combinan la navegación a vela y su arte. Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) hizo ambas cosas.

Nacido en Tarrytown, Nueva York, propietario de una granja en las montañas Adirondack, un aparato durante muchos años en Monhegan Island, Kent fue un artista de tendencia izquierdista con una inclinación por la aventura de altas latitudes (Alaska, Terranova, Groenlandia, Tierra del Fuego, etc) en la época entre las dos guerras mundiales. Llegó a ser conocido como ilustrador de libros y ganó su fama en crear obras de arte con un estilo que era a la vez sencillo y trascendental.

Kent ilustró varios libros con temas náuticos, incluyendo una edición limitada de tres volúmenes, de Herman Melville, Moby Dick , más tarde publicó A Treasury of Sea Stories, editado por Gordon C. Aymar. De los varios libros que escribió e ilustró, dos -N by E, y Voyaging -son sobre sus experiencias de navegación. El primero describe un pasaje de Nueva York a Groenlandia, Terranova, en un Colin Archer que terminó en naufragio; este último está a punto de Kent experiencias en un bote salvavidas convirtió a lo largo del Estrecho de Magallanes y Tierra del Fuego. Ambas son piezas de género, pero en el fondo son literatura ilustrada con arte. (...)

Sunglare. Alaska. 

Rockwell Kent
The sailor as artist, the artist as sailor
Few artists have made their mark as sailors; fewer still have written books that combine their sailing and their art. Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) did both.
Born in Tarrytown, New York, owner of a farm in the Adirondacks, a fixture for many years on Monhegan Island, Kent was a leftward-leaning artist with a penchant for adventure in high latitudes (Alaska, Newfoundland, Greenland, Tierra del Fuego, etc.) in the era between the world wars. He became well-known by illustrating books and gained his fame creating fine art in a style that was at once straightforward and transcendental.
Kent illustrated several books with nautical themes, including a three-volume limited edition of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, later released in a one-volume version for a larger market, and A Treasury of Sea Stories, edited by Gordon C. Aymar. Of the several books he both wrote and illustrated, two—N by E, and Voyaging —are about his sailing experiences. The former describes a passage from New York to Greenland via Newfoundland in a Colin Archer double-ender that ended in shipwreck; the latter is about Kent’s experiences in a converted lifeboat along the Strait of Magellan and around Tierra del Fuego. On the surface both are genre pieces, but deep down inside they are Literature illustrated with Art.
Here, from N by E, is Rockwell Kent on the loneliness of the long-distance passage maker:
“Twilight, the ocean, eight o-clock have come; I take the helm on my watch. The wind has risen, the horizon is dark against a livid sky. It’s cold. Never again for months to come do my thoughts run to nakedness. Nor do I see green fields, nor thriving homesteads, nor people long enough except to part from them; nor—though it’s June—the summer; not for a thousand miles. And as it darkens and the stars come out, and the black sea appears unbroken everywhere save for the restless turbulence of its own plain, as the lights are extinguished in the cabin—then I am suddenly alone. And almost terror grips me for I now feel the solitude; under the keel and overhead the depths,—and me, enveloped in immensity. How strange to be here in a little boat!—and not by accident....”

Adirondack Cabin. by Rockwell Kent. 1946

Adirondack Cabin. 1 Rockwell Kent. 1941

Rockwell Kent's Child Under Tree, Virginia


Resting. Rockwell Kent (1929)

Comunión con la naturaleza

Communing with Nature. Rockwell Kent (1934)

Starlight by Rockwell Kent
This is a woodblock print done after the original by Rockwell Kent. This was produced for a portfolio and is titled 'Starlight' (wood eng. 42). The original work sells for thousands of dollars.
Lone cabina. Rockwell Kent (1926)

Ilustraciones de Moby Dick:


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