Monday, July 18, 2011

"extraordinary luminosity"

LOS ANGELES—Watercolor is one of the most challenging artistic techniques—capable of extraordinary luminosity but often resistant to control. Luminous Paper: British Watercolors and Drawings, on view July 19–October 23, 2011 at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, presents more than 25 works of the 1700s and 1800s by some of the greatest masters of the medium, many on view for the first time.

Featuring the work of some of the most famous British artists, including J.M.W. Turner, William Blake, and Samuel Palmer, this exhibition reveals their multifaceted innovations in the field of drawing and watercolor painting. From Turner's use of his thumbprint to roughen the texture of wash in a whirling seascape, to the reflected and re-reflected light built in layers by John Sell Cotman, the medium of watercolor was transformed beyond recognition. Other artists experimented with novel subject matter or new modes of representation, playing important roles in the development of European drawing and watercolor painting.

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