NEW YORK – Craig F. Starr Associates is pleased to announce the opening of George Bellows: Knockout. The gallery has compiled a group of Bellows’ most important and dynamic boxing prints for this exhibition. Among the works included are Stag at Sharkey’s, Dempsey Throug the Ropes and a rare impression of Training Quarters.
Bellows is universally acknowledged as one of the most important American artists of the 20th century. His boxing scenes are unquestionably the most iconic images that he produced. The works in this exhibition have been heralded by critics as the most famous prints of the first half of the 20th century.
A leader of the Ashcan school, Bellows created boxing images that expressed the physicality of this dangerous and illicit sport in a raw style that was unusual among his contemporaries. By placing the viewer at the eye level of the sports fans, Bellows injects us into the image. These scenes recall with authority the environment of illegal prize fighting in New York, a world that Bellows was familiar with first hand. Strong and dynamic compositions utilize powerful, slashing strokes to capture the anticipation of the audience and the strength and fury of the competitors. An exceptional athlete himself, Bellows was a master of the form in motion. This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view these boxing prints as a group, which serves to highlight their intensity and “punch.”
Bellows was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1882 and spent most of his life in New York City, which offered him sporting events and bustling neighborhoods as artistic inspiration until his death in 1925. His work has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions, including Bellows: The Boxing Pictures at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC in 1982.