2009 Catalog, William R. Talbot Fine Art, Antique Maps & Prints Home

2009 Catalog > 16. Corey “Rockport.”

16. Bernard Corey. “Rockport,” n.d. [early 1960s]. Oil on canvas mounted to board, 8 1/2 x 14." Frame: 12 1/4 x 17 3/4." Signed in l.r. corner. Inscribed on verso in pencil: “Rockport.” Handsomely presented in a gold leaf frame. Very fine.

Price: $6,500. [ Order ]

Bernard Corey (1914–2000) is considered one of the finest American Impressionist painters of the twentieth century. While Corey is identified with the historic Gloucester-Rockport Art Colony, he worked in many locations throughout New England and was associated with the Salmagundi Club in New York City, the Hudson Valley Art Association, the Providence Water Color Club, the Guild of Boston Artists, Allied Artists of America, as well as the Rockport Art Association.

The present painting is a superb example of Corey’s ability to capture the essence of a landscape with dynamic brushwork. Here we see Rockport on a crystalline, windswept day. Through the high-key color of the inlet, one perceives a sunlit clarity. The rhythmic brushwork pervades the wispy clouds and rocky coast, so that one senses the direction of the wind. In contrast, the density of brushwork in the foreground foliage gives a sense of calm and solid ground.

A self-trained artist, Corey worked as a house painter as a young man, his landscape painting remaining a hobby. Then, in the early 1960s, he decided to dedicate himself to art and lived for some time in Rockport, honing his skills in the company of other artists. Throughout his life, Corey was admired by other artists for his dedication to painting on location, for long hours, in all kinds of weather. He went so far as to attach an easel to the dashboard of his car so that he could paint in rain, sleet or snow. His friendships with other artists extended to working together—literally in the field. His many associates included Marty Ahern, Bob Aiello, T. A. Charron, Bob Duffy, Michael Graves, Emile Gruppe, Bill Heffernan, Aldro Hibbard, John Loughlin, Tom Nicholas, W. Lester Stevens, Don Stone, Paul Strisik, and Stow Wengenroth. Corey continued to paint outdoors well into his eighties, achieving national recognition, and winning hundreds of awards.

Rockport is a superb example of the American school of plein air Impressionism. Given the possibility that this painting was created during Corey’s early Rockport period, it then already displays the masterful qualities that would distinguish this artist’s work.

Refs.: Bernard Corey, “The World’s At the Tip of My Brush” (Palette Talk, #63, 1985); Charles Movalli, “Bernard Corey on the Spot” (American Artist, August, 1978); The Rockport Art Association, Artists of the Rockport Art Association, A Pictorial Record (1940).

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