HORACE PIPPIN PAINTING
Oil on Canvas Adhered to Cardboard
Monogramed in Main Subject Area: H.E.P.
Signed Lower Right Corner: H. PIPPIN
Dated: 1924 Size: Approx. 6 in. x 6 in.
*** Title has been attributed. ***
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All rights are reserved by Joe Rea.
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"...brilliant Pippin research...really wonderful!..."
Professor of African American Studies, University of Nottingham,
Dorothy K Hohenberg Chair of Art History, University of Memphis
Co-Editor of the Journal of American Studies, Cambridge University Press
Associate Fellow, W. E. B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University
Visiting Professor, North American Institute, King’s College London
Author of book, Suffering and Sunset: World War I in the Art and Life of Horace Pippin
** Book release Fall 2015, currently available for pre-sale order on Amazon.com **
** To view pre-sale order page for this book on Amazon.com, **
M. Alexis Scott,
Publisher/CEO, Atlanta Daily World
Note: There are multiple aspects to this piece, which may add or subtract from the current, at times cloudy, understanding of the artist Horace Pippin and his true story. As reason dictates, the aspects of any piece, which truely determine its authenticity, are those distinctive qualities of the individual artist which are repeatedly apparent in each creation by the artist. These distinctive qualities include things like the artist's palette and the artist's brush stroke style. They also include the subject matters used by the artist, the artist's stylistic treatment of the subject matter and the expression of the deepest parts of the artist's soul, through the manipulation of these other distinctive qualities. These are the most important aspects that must be contemplated in the consideration of this piece. Due to his life experiences, some of the distinctive qualities of Horace Pippin are perhaps more individualistic than with other artists. Pippin's palette is very distinctive with its fiery reds, glowing whites, deep dark greens and his soft purples, sometimes used in tonal shading. His tiny brush stroke style, which was likely due to wounds he received during World War I, is also very distinctive. As a result, he had to guide his brush hand with his other hand, in order to apply his brush strokes. It is these distinctive qualities that have been given the highest degree of consideration regarding this piece.
Subject: A painting of an older black man in fine dress, showing the bust portion of his body, his face having all the aspects of an extremly intense emotional reaction to something that appears to be outside the view expressed by the painting. The intensity of emotion expressed in this man's face is so apparent and stands out so strongly to the observer, that it draws the observer straight into it. The observer can see the intensity of emotion but, because what is causing this reaction appears to be outside the view of the painting, it leaves observers having to define, on their own, the cause of the reaction. This creates an interactive experience for the observer as the mind naturally begins to try to fill in the reasoning for the man's intense reaction. The results of this natural reasoning process, are just as dependent on the individual observer's life experiences and current frame of mind, as they are on the subject matter in the painting itself. Depending on the observer, the man's reaction could be defined as some sort of intense, positive reaction. More likely it would be defined by the observer as a reaction of great horror, fear or some other intensely negative reaction. But what could it be? One can not help but wonder, what is the horrific tragedy this man is wittness to, or even worse is about to befall him. There is another element in this piece that at first seems to elude the naked eye of the observer. Even under closer observation it first appears to be nothing more than a small speck of paint, that may have been accidentally flicked from the end of a brush onto the piece. But under much, much closer scrutiny, the observer can then see that this man's intense emotional reaction is caused by a very small flying insect.
The remainder of this presentation is divided into three main parts which are titled "The Front", "The Back" and "Summary". The first part, "The Front", is where the distinctive qualities of the artist will be pointed out and compared with other works by Horace Pippin. Other aspects on the front of this piece will also be commented on in this part. The second part will address "The Back" of this piece. That is where there is a lot of writing, some of which reads "From Dr. Christian Brinton". To access the other parts of this presentation, please see below.
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All rights to all images are reserved by Joe Rea
All rights are reserved by Joe Rea
The reader is welcome to quote this presentation provided full acknowledgment of its origin is stated with any quotes used.