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John Sloan

Contemporary Work in Painting, 1928-1940
February 08 – March 07, 1942

I thoroughly believe in the importance of my work in the last ten years, a representative group of which I have selected for the Renaissance Society Exhibition.

In attempting to trace some underlying relationship between my motives, past and present, I conclude that the fact that the old pictures of city life were painted from memory furnished the communicating link. In painting from memory one paints from the thing itself and is not making a visual record. The sense of reality is a mental product which may be carried in the memory and furnishes all necessary creative impulse. The work of the last ten years has been done with this as a conscious urge, whether done in the presence of the subject matter or from memory. My present credo, which I believe might produce thousands of varying results in the hands of thousands of various minds, is briefly, first, the eyes see only color; second, form, light, and shade are mental deductions based on experience. No scientific or clever or sensitive or plodding record of the visual produces a work of real aesthetic import. Shape must therefore be conveyed by some means apart from, and augmented by, color

I call the above my mental technique and I believe it to be in line with tradition and in accord with the most ultra-modern expositions.

John Sloan

This text was published in the exhibition brochure.

This was John Sloan's first one-man exhibition in Chicago.

This show is part of the series A Year of American Art.

The show travelled to the Denver Art Museum.


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