Archive for January 14th, 2009

The Race Track (Death on a Pale Horse)I have always been affected by the dark, moody compositions of the  the American painter Albert Pinkham Ryder, a somewhat under-appreciated  painter who worked in the late 1800’s/ early 1900’s, dying in 1917.

He is probably not as well known as he should be because of the manner in which he painted.  He had little regard for working in a fashion that would insure the longevity of his work and as a result, most of his pieces are heavily cracked and fragile.  Many have not survived.

AP Ryder Flying Dutchman
When I have seen his work in person I am always filled with a sense of excitement, as though I’ve stumbled upon a hidden treasure.  There’s also a feeling of knowing this person and feeling their essence.  It’s as though I feel something in my own being that parallels his in some way.  I hesitate to say this because I do not know in any fashion the man or his personality but that which I see in his work I truly identify with in some manner beyond appreciation.

AP Ryder Toilers of the Sea
I see real poetry and soul in his work, something I think which is lacking in much work.  I can’t describe how I see that– it’s more just a matter of sensing it.  To me, Ryder seems to be trying to communicate something vaporous and indefinable, something beyond the senses, something beyond words.  I identify with that endeavor and find inspiration in his work.



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