Art Gallery of Alberta

Bruce Robertson

Water into Art: The Peculiar History of British Watercolour Painting
with Bruce Robertson

Sunday, October 20, 2 pm
Ledcor Theatre, Lower Level
$15 / $10 AGA Members
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Turning ‘water into art’ focuses our attention on the very difficult technical feat transforming the fluidity of water into the substance of art. It’s a peculiar trick, as anyone who has tried to paint watercolours knows, and it is one mastered by British artists like no one else. But watercolour is also peculiarly British, not only in its technical sophistication, but also in the range of subjects attempted by British water colour artists, and the importance watercolour painting had for British art in general. Only in England did artists try to rival the effects and seriousness of oil painting by turning water into art.

Bruce Robertson specializes in American and British art as well as museum history. He was educated at Swarthmore College and Yale University, and is a professor of art history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. For a number of years he held a dual appointment with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as Chief Curator, Center for the Art of the Americas, and Deputy Director for Art Programs. He is currently the Acting Director, Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara. His publications include Sargent and Italy 2003, Ruth Harriet Louise and Hollywood Glamour Photography 2002; Marsden Hartley, 1995; Reckoning with Winslow Homer: His Late Paintings and their Influence, 1990, and Paul Sandby 1985. His most recent publications and exhibitions include American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915, 2009, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and O’Keeffe and Abstraction 2009, with the Whitney Museum, as well as Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe, at The Hyde Collection, 2013

Held in conjunction with Water Into Art: British Watercolours from the V&A, 1750-1950.