Theme/Style – Post-Impressionism, Realism, Modernism, Surrealism, figurative art, still lifes
Media – Oils, murals, watercolors, lithographs
Artistic Focus – From her early focus on metaphysical imagery, to her later works – which have been termed a visual dissection of nature that gave their subject matter a visceral, anthropomorphic guise – Henrietta Shore’s paintings contain an intriguing mix of bright luminosity and coldness, realism and mystery. While offering a highly original palette, her work reflects her friendships with such luminaries as Edward Weston and Robert Henri without ever being derivative. Shore stopped dating her work after 1913, hoping to prevent the public from categorizing her canvases into artistic periods – a reflection of her belief that life and art are a continuum.
Career Highlights –
- Trained in her native Toronto, Canada, as well as New York City and London – where she became the only private pupil of John Singer Sargent – Shore moved to Los Angeles in 1913, remaining there until 1920, when she began traveling through North America.
- Shore associated with such important artistic figures as Rivera, Orozco and Charlot on her travels in Mexico, and was also a confidant of Edward Weston, who was influenced by Shore in his photographic work.
- Shore settled on the Monterey Peninsula in 1930, establishing a studio and working there until illness late in life sent her to a San Jose sanitarium. She would work deliberately on several canvases at once — setting one aside for a few months to let it “mature,” and returning to it later.
- A contemporary of Georgia O’Keeffe, Shore produced work that often was more highly regarded than O’Keeffe’s in instances when the two exhibited together – but it took decades for Shore to be recognized as one of California’s most inventive avant-garde artists.