Portions of the stone bridge depicted here date to 1760, when a wooden structure over Catskill Creek (in Greene County) collapsed; the rest was completed in 1792 and remains standing today. Lomoff renders virtually no straight lines in his painting, whose natural features all appear to be in gently waving motion—arguably including the bridge itself. Foliage grows on the structure, its stones are the same color as those in the river bed, and its arches subtly echo those of trees and mountains in the distance. Still waters create a reflection whose effect is to create a pair of portals through to some other side.
About the Artist: Born in Sevastpool, Russia, Lomoff traveled to the US in 1912 and immigrated for good in 1925, where he found employment as (among other jobs) a sign painter. His Futurist-influenced works like “Mystery” and “Legend of Atlantis” began to appear in group shows by the late 1920s. Lomoff’s exhibited numerous times with the Society of Independent Artists between the mid-1920s and early 1940s. In 1934, as part of the Public Works of Art Project, he painted a mural titled “Nursery Tales” in the Children’s Hopital on Charity Island (now named Roosevelt Island). A visitor noted that “Upon a single panel you will often find as many as three or four artists working at the same time in a spirit of unimpeachable cooperation...the old guild idea, adapted to modern usage” (Jewell). In 1937, amidst Congressional cuts to the Federal Arts Project, he was among those painters showing at a “Pink Slip Exhibition” in New York City. Subsequently, “Toilers of the Sea” appeared at the Brooklyn Museum (1943), and he was part of an innovative 1946 exhibit at Loew’s Mayfair Theatre in Times Square—which had been organized following Thomas Hart Benton’s statement that art should be in public places and not “buried in mausoleum-like art galleries.” A 1971 retrospective of his painting might well describe his NDG landscape: “The mystic element became strong, rocks and hills taking on human form, until each animistic landscape was alive with the impress of dark figures” (O’Doherty). 10 works at the Brooklyn Museum. 3 more images at FAP.
Sources Consulted: Edward Alden Jewell, “The Waxing Mural Tide,” New York Times 19 August 1934: 133; Brian O’Doherty, “Dual Show at Riverside Museum,” New York Times 7 June 1961: 45.
Cooper, Ken (biography)
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