Over a century ago, a group of New York painters scandalized the art world with images of the seedier side of urban Americana: burlesque shows, Bowery bars, back-alley brawlers, and street entertainers. Dismissed by critics as "apostles of ugliness," its members experimented with and introduced new techniques: the use of slashing, liquid brushwork for a sense of immediacy; dark, contrasting color tonalities to suggest depth; and more abstract representation of figures, tenements, and landscapes. The Ashcan School, as it came to be known, brought a new vitality and social realism into American art during the Gilded Age. Its most recognized proponents -- John Sloan, George Bellows, George Luks, and the charismatic Robert Henri, the group's overall mentor (whose work in this show isn't as strong as his protégés') -- would have a profound impact on painting in this country. The school's legacy is evident in a presentation of 40 works by Ashcan artists and their followers now on view at the George Krevsky Gallery on Geary. This museum-quality exhibit, "In the Tradition of the American Ashcan," is notable for the inclusion of both lesser-known women artists as well as West Coast followers of the school, whose influence continued through the Depression... More >>>