Two exhibits opened last Sunday: the sprawling The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Clark at the Kimbell Art Museum and the intimate Sargent’s Youthful Genius: Paintings from the Clark at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. “The Clark” in both titles refers to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, a public museum established by the husband and wife in 1955 in Williamstown, Mass. The four paintings that make up the Sargent exhibit have never been seen before in Texas.
Sargent was one of the greatest early-modernist portraitists who ever lived. Among the four is “Fumée d’Ambre Gris (Smoke of the Ambergris),” one of his most popular paintings, remarkable for its lovely color scheme of cream on white and ambiguous narrative thrust –– a beautiful woman in a long white gown standing over a smoky silver lamp is lifting her white veil. Like “Ambergris,” the other three paintings also display a lack of finish, arguably a hallmark modernist attribute.
Each work was created before Sargent turned 30.
Sargent’s Youthful Genius: Paintings from the Clark runs thru Jun 17 at Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. Admission is free. Call 817-738-1933.