August 26 - September 22
Julie Heller Gallery is pleased to present a month long show of "MUDHEADS" by Charles Hawthorne students. Hawthorne was a student of William Merritt Chase, and when Chase decided to close his school in Shinnecock Hills Long Island, New York, a 27 year old Hawthorne arrived in Provincetown having heard so much about its extraordinary summer light. He was such a renowned painter,students as well as his peers, joined him. Here in 1899, he founded the first outdoor summer school for figure painting that same year which grew into one of the nation's leading art schools - The Cape Cod School of Art. Following his own unique theory of plein air painting, Hawthorne posed the model in dazzling sunlight with the face shaded by hat or parasol and forced his students to create form with light and shadow and blotches of color which changed with the passing light. Tourists coined the term mud head or mudders for these student studies as the face was devoid of detail and often a brownish wash. Fast forward a hundred years to the discovery of over a hundred of these Mudheads found nailed into the walls of Hawthorne's barn as insulation. Several of these form the bulk of the August show at Julie Heller Gallery Many are masterful studies of light and color and are also exquisite artifacts of a time so brilliant and formative in the history of American art. There is a palpable energy in their studied light and a sense of discovery in their unfinished quality - a moment of creativity caught in paint. This fascinating show runs through September 22.