Glenn O. Coleman
(1887 – 1932)
Glenn O.Coleman had a talent for drawing, which earned him a position as an apprentice artist for an Indianapolis newspaper while still a teenager. He went to New York City in 1905, where his life became a struggle to find time to paint while trying to survive by working at any job he could find, and studying for a short time with Ash Can artists Everett Shinn and Robert Henri. He began selling drawings to the socialist magazine, “The Masses”. His painting were deeply felt reflections of everyday life in the off-beat nooks and crannies of Greenwich Village, Chinatown and the river. He sought refuge in these neighborhoods where there was a sense of community and that he recognized from life in a small town, as opposed to uptown skyscrapers, progress, and all around a great urban metropolis sprawled.
Coleman went through many stylistic changes in his work. First, studying Ash Can realism, by creating highly realistic lithographs. By the mid-1920’s cubism began to influence his work, like many artists, and he transitioned from life-like portrayals of city life to a form of stylized abstraction. Moving to Long Island in the year of his death, Coleman appeared to want to re-ground himself in nature, painting landscapes like the one we see here. Sadly, Coleman died at the age of 45 and did not find success in his last artistic pursuit during his lifetime.