Joseph Sweeney, “University Barge Club,” 2017, pastel on paper, 22 x 32 inches

Along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States lie hundreds of small towns and cities that boast stunning views of river landscapes. These classic scenes form an important part of late 19th- and early 20th-century American art. That tradition continues today, as seen in the recent body of work by Joseph Sweeney.

Born in the Farimount section of Philadelphia, artist Joseph Sweeney returns to his roots during “On the River,” a solo exhibition at Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia. On view June 1 through June 30, “On the River” is Sweeney’s recent exploration of the classic river scenes that have drawn artists to the state of Pennsylvania for generations.

Joseph Sweeney, “Regatta Morning,” 2017, pastel on paper, 22 x 32 inches

“After exploring landscapes of central Pennsylvania, the New Jersey shore, Ireland, and Bermuda, the artist is revisiting a subject matter that has inspired so many Philadelphia painters over the years,” the gallery writes. “Managing to strike a fine balance between rendering a portrait of a place and capturing its essence without being literal, Sweeney identifies and reveals what is vital in each scene with the quickness of stroke and the intensity of color only possible through the medium of pastel. The resulting images emerge as refined and poetic; infused with Sweeney’s genuine affection for his subject matter.”

To learn more, visit Gross McCleaf Gallery.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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