Breathtaking Bellows


One lingering question after the George Bellows show at the Royal Academy: why isn’t he as well known as Edward Hopper? I’d seen some of the boxing scenes before – I used to have a poster of the Dempsey-Firpo fight on my wall – but the sheer range of Bellows’ work was a revelation. (It’s just a shame the exhibition has had to be squeezed the Sackler Wing. I was glad I chose a reasonably quiet day – I imagine those small rooms can get really congested at the weekend.) The New York street scenes, the coastal landscapes and the quiet, intimate portraits of the well-heeled and not so affluent country folk are all fascinating, even if some of the London reviewers have been sniffy about them. (“Dire” was the term one of them used.) Who knows what Bellow would have achieved if he hadn’t died so young?

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Chief theatre critic for The Times. Twitter: CliveDavisUK Facebook: Instagram: clivephotos
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