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John Mellencamp A Perception By David L. Shirey

John Mellencamp is a rebel without a cause but not the spitfire refractory type who raises a painting palette with a clenched fist against the art establishment. He’s not a rebel who proclaims a cerebral doctrine, decrees an oppressive ideology or a proponent of some altisonant theory or authoritarian manifesto.

His rebellion is embodied in the physical phenomena, in the palpable materiality of his art. He does not pay any deferential tribute to any arching esthetic dictamina. He propounds in a serenely quiet and countervailing way that art need not subscribe to any one restrictive philosophy but can embrace expansively myriad paths and approaches to self-discovery and the realization of self-expression. Read David L. Shirey's complete perception of John Mellencamp after the jump.

John Mellencamp In Context By Louis A. Zona

What is clear about the art of John Mellencamp is that his work extends the rich tradition of American expressionistic art that harks back to the painterly canvases of Robert Henri (1865-1929) and the so called Early Modernists that flourished in the early part of the 20th Century. The Butler's "The Little Dancer' from 1916 reveals the rich and highly textured handling of paint the has its roots in Vincent Van Gogh's impasto surfaces often achieved with finders and palette knives. 

 Also in the collection is Marsden Hartley's (1877-1943) "Birds of Bagaduce" that brought to America the expressionistic fevor of German Expressionist art that helped define Modernism in the early part of the century. Marsden Hartley would have identified strongly with the social relevance of so much of John Mellencamp's art, its social commentary, its exaggerations and its humor. 

Robert Henri (1865-1929), The Little Dancer, 1916-1918, Oil on Canvas

Today's Featured Painting

Fairmount,         2017,         48 x 35,         Mixed Media on Plywood



48" x 35"

Mixed Media on Plywood


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