Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Art Review - "Contemplation" by Hovsep Pushman

As I prepare for my still life workshop next month at the Telfair Museums Jepson Center, I'm thinking about some of the still life paintings that have greatly inspired me. This week's #MuseumTourTuesday features one of my favorite still life painters, Armenian artist Hovsep Pushman.

Pushman's paintings fascinate me with the way in which he depicts a combination of three-dimensional and two-dimensional elements. Notice in this piece how he uses a wider value scale and sharper edges to differentiate the foreground objects from the flat artwork behind them. While the solid objects become the focal point of the painting, the artist adds enough interest and rich color into the painting beyond that the foreground and background are intricately linked, inviting us to explore the entire painting and suggesting that there is more beyond the frame.

Born in 1877, Pushman's family emigrated from to Chicago in 1896. Pushman then moved to Paris where he studied at the Académie Julian, returning to the U.S. in 1914. After moving to California in 1916, Pushman co-founded the Laguna Beach Art Association in 1918. After another brief stint in Paris, Pushman relocated to New York City in 1923. In 1940, he sued the New York Graphic Society for reproducing one of his paintings without permission. While the court initially decided against the artist, upon his death in 1966 the decision was reversed, and the law now states that the artist retains all rights. This ruling still protects us today. Thank you Hovsep Pushman.

Hovsep Pushman • "Contemplation" • Oil on Masonite • 27.25" x 20.75" • circa 1940

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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