Albert Pinkham Ryder USA
3-19-1847 New Bedford, USA - 3-28-1917 New York, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Albert Pinkham Ryder first training in art was with the painter William Edgar Marshall in New York. From 1870 to 1873, and again from 1874 to 1875, Ryder studied art at the National Academy of Design. He exhibited his first painting there in 1873 and met artist Julian Alden Weir, who became his lifelong friend. In 1877, Albert Pinkham Ryder made the first of four trips to Europe throughout his life, where his studying of the paintings of the French Barbizon school and the Dutch Hague School would have a significant impact on his work.
The 1880s and 1890s are thought of as Albert Pinkham Ryder's most creative and artistically mature period. During the 1880s, Ryder exhibited frequently and his work was well received by critics. His art became more poetic and imaginative, and Ryder wrote poetry to accompany many of his works.
After 1900, around the time of his father's death, Albert Pinkham Ryder's creativity fell dramatically. For the rest of his life he spent his artistic energy on occasionally re-working existing paintings, some of which lay scattered about his New York apartment.
While Ryder's creativity fell after the turn of the century, his fame grew. Important collectors of American art sought Ryder paintings for their holdings and often lent choice examples for national art exhibitions, as Albert Pinkham Ryder himself had lost interest in actively exhibiting his work. In 1913, ten of his paintings were shown together in the historic Armory Show, an honor reflecting the admiration felt towards Ryder by modernist artists of the time who saw his work as a harbinger of American modernist art.
While the works of many of Ryder's contemporaries were partly or mostly forgotten through much of the 20th century, Ryder's artistic reputation has remained largely intact owing to his unique and forward-looking style. Ryder was—along with Thomas Hart Benton, David Siqueiros and Pablo Picasso—an important influence on Jackson Pollock's paintings.
Albert Pinkham Ryder completed fewer than two hundred paintings, nearly all of which were created before 1900. He rarely signed and never dated his paintings.
Albert Pinkham Ryder used his materials liberally and without care. His paintings, which he often worked on for ten years or more, were built up of layers of paint and varnish applied on top of each other. He would often paint into wet varnish, or apply a layer of fast-drying paint over a layer of slow-drying paint. The result is that paintings by Ryder remain unstable and become much darker over time; they crack readily, do not fully dry even after decades, and sometimes completely disintegrate. Many of his paintings suffered damage even during Ryder's lifetime, and he tried to restore them in his later years.
In their book, Albert Pinkham Ryder: Painter of Dreams, William Innes Homer and Lloyd Goodrich wrote, "There are more fake Ryders than there are forgeries of any other American artist except his contemporary Ralph Blakelock." Part of the reason why so many fake Albert Pinkham Ryder exist is that his style is easily copied. Forgers can go to great lengths to fabricate the age of a painting, including painting it on antique canvas and baking it to add cracks.
Art Movement: Tonalism
Influences: William Edgar Marshall, Robert Loftin Newman
Traveled: France, Netherlands
Influenced: Jackson Pollock