Woman in Red Jacket signed 'W. Glackens' (lower left) and inscribed 'W.Glackens 10 W 9th St N.Y.' (on stretcher) oil on canvas 24 1/4 x 18 1/4in
PROVENANCE: with Kraushaar Galleries, New York Sale, Sotheby's New York, 3 December 1987, lot 246. with Joan Michelman, New York Private collection, Denver, Colorado
In 1908, an exhibition, lead by Robert Henri, opened at the Macbeth Gallery in New York. In this exhibition were works by Arthur B. Davies, Maurice Prendergast, Robert Henri, Ernest Lawson, Everett Shinn, John French Sloan, George Luks, and William Glackens. These artists would come to be called "The Eight", or the Ashcan School. The exhibition of 1908 signified a clear break from the National Academy and its aesthetic tenets. Many of the Eight, including Glackens, had worked as journalists or illustrators for newspapers and had taken an interest in the realistic artistic movement. The Eight painted everyday scenes on the streets of New York. Glackens' works tended to highlight the life of the middle class while his fellow artists focused more on poorer neighborhoods.
By 1910, Glackens' style of painting had begun to depart from the Ashcan School. This change can likely be explained by Glackens' trip to Paris in 1912 when his friend, Dr. Albert C. Barnes, gave him money to purchase Impressionist and Post-impressionist works. These paintings, not only established the foundation of the Barnes Collection, but also helped shape Glackens' later style. His paintings took on a "soft, feathery brush-work and rich, variegated colorism" (Gerdts, American Impressionism, p.281). In the present work, Glackens infuses the painting with striking color juxtaposed with loose, dreamy brushstrokes. The woman carries herself with confident ease. Her skin is flushed with soft pinks, reminiscent of Renoir, as she coolly regards the viewer under her slanted hat.