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LaForce Bailey



LaForce Bailey, Provincetown artist

LaForce Bailey, Blue Figures on Boat, n.d., watercolor, ink on paper, 21.75 x 30.5" slr


LaForce Bailey, a professor of art at the University of Illinois for half of his life, travelled to Provincetown each summer recess, painting prolifically throughout his many seasons here. While he resisted most attempts to classify his work, Bailey allowed himself to be called a Progressive Modernist. He explained to one contemporary: "I paint expressionistically-- that is, I use objects to express the way I feel toward fundamental truths." This method is translated onto paper in bold, loose strokes and curiously glowing washes of color. In assessing his work, which today seems relatively traditional and evocative of quaint days gone by, it is interesting to note that of the works exhibited in his one man show of 1941, some has been kept in storage for years because the artist knew their modenism would've brought a cold reception. Ahead of his time in several ways, Bailey was one of the first artists to use larger sheets of watercolor (most paintings are over 20" x 24") and among the most talented and progressive practitioners of the wet wash method, in which the entire painting must be carried out in one operation. During his lifetime, these acheivements were well recognized. Bailey won the highest awards in the American Watercolor Society competitions of 1934 and '36, was included in many shows at the Chicago Art Institute and created a large-scale mural for the Century of Progress World's Fair of 1933. A student of Charles Hawthorne during the early 1920s. Bailey fits beautifully in to the tradition of Provincetown art and brings his own particular flair to the scene. In this balance -- between absorbing and giving -- Bailey represents the regenerative nature of Provincetown's greatest artists.

[text Jennifer Liese © Julie Heller Gallery, Provincetown]
[image PAAM's Annual Spring Consignment Auction]

Represened by Julie Heller Gallery, 2 Gosnold Street Provincetown, MA 02657, (508) 487 2169



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