George Luks

American (1867–1933)

The Musician

n. d.

Oil on canvas

Gift of Costas Lemonopoulos


Luks belonged to Robert Henri’s circle and exhibited with The Eight in 1908. Like Henri, he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy and in Europe, but he also worked as a journalist and illustrator in Philadelphia and New York. He painted the people and the streets of New York City, often in a somber palette. He and some of his confreres were dubbed the “Ashcan School.” The Musician is an example of Luks capturing people engaged in activity rather than self-consciously posed. The quick brushstrokes and bold daubs of unmodulated color are characteristic of Luks’s style. His contrasting red signature was a favorite device, calling attention to the artist and asserting his presence in the painting.

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