Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Roderic O'Conor, Bog Scene

Roderic O'Conor, Bog Scene

Roderic O'Conor (1860-1940) was an Irish painter.  He studied at the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin before traveling to Antwerp and Paris, where the Impressionists significantly affected his style.  He became friends with Paul Gauguin after traveling to Brittany and joining a group artists surrounding him.  O'Conor was also greatly influenced by Van Gogh.  He returned to Ireland and found significant success, but continued to spend a great deal of time in France, eventually dying there in 1940.  O'Conor is best known for his landscapes and seascapes, but he also did a number of portraits, still-lifes, and nudes.  Among his best regarded paintings is The Wave (1898), an unadorned portrait of the sea, and his self-portrait (19233-26) is quite striking.  I could find very little information about Bog Scene, not even a year, but the piece is quite stunning.  The particular use of form and color strikes me as quite modern, particularly evident in the rough shapes of the splotches of pink (clouds?) throughout the sky.  The entire scene is portrayed with heightened color, almost fantastical, to emphasize the activity and life in a bog. O'Conor's forms are very rough, only giving the vaguest idea of the subject, but it works quite well, particularly in a depiction of a bog where fog and mist would obscure one's vision.  Currents of color run through the foreground, while fuchsia mountains rise in the background.  This is a scene of immense complexity, effective because the color is so arresting and the forms so engaging.

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