Walt Kuhn was 77 years old when he painted Sandy
in 1946. Now, Kuhn emerges clearly as one of the most important painters in America during the first half of our century. Though he studied in Europe from 1901 to 1905, and critics have correctly discerned the influence of Cézanne and Picasso, he returned to become a peculiarly independent American artist.While our clown is at first reminiscent of those in the Harriman collection and the Metropolitan Museum, it is a unique vision of great strength and in the last analysis is as independent of them as they are of each other. Sandy
stares out at us from his unreal world with an intensity that is both very real and very human. Watteau, one of the first great Western artists to turn to the circus for subjects, may have done so with more sophistication but certainly with less compassion.Referenced Work of Art
- Walt Kuhn, American, 1877-1949. Sandy, 1946. Oil on canvas, 30” x 25”. The John R. Van Derlip Fund, 1961, 61.6.