San Francisco

Joshua Meador

Galerie de Tours

Mr. Meador, a Mississippian by birth, and a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, presents principally soft-focused American rural landscapes in oil. These genre paintings are well-enunciated cliches in a familiar idiom that has become such a persistently commercialized, die-hard strain of popular traditionalism in American art that at least its immediate lineage is worth tracing. Simply stated, it is a New England regionalism that evolved spontaneously during the first two decades of the present century. While ultimately a complex of 19th-century European influences, its immediate indebtednesses are to the watercolorism of genteel Beacon Hill dowagers (reducing to a formula certain mannerisms of Homer and Sargent) on the one hand, and, on the other, to those oil painters whose sentimental utterances about New England hills and villages echoed the subdued Brahmin accents of Boston’s non-rigorously pointillistic modifiers of French Impressionistic trends—notably ChiIde Hassam, This dated and sclerotic subsynthesis of mediocre sub-synthesists of minor synthesists was apparently exported to the mid-West, and further, via teacher migration and nostalgic calendar reproductions.

Some seascapes with cliffs and rocks are another matter, and derive somber lyrical elegance from a consummate and sensitive assimilation of the Normandy Coast panoramas of Courbet.

Palmer D. French