The Yellow Shawl, 1909

by Allen Tucker


MEDIUM: Oil on canvas
DIMENSION: (unframed) 23.0 x 19.0 ins/ 58.4 x 48.3 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘A. Tucker’ and dated (lower right)

Allen Tucker was often called the American Van Gogh.” His closest friend, critic Forbes Watson, described him as brilliantly communicative, passionately in love with art in all its forms, with an ear for music, an eye for painting … genial and provocative in talk.” (Goley, in The Vibrant Landscape1997).


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    Catalogue No: 6335 Categories: ,

    Tucker exhibited his work with a New York group called the Independents, who wanted to shake up the conservative ideas of the National Academy of Design. He was also a founding member of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, which staged the famous Armory Show of modern art in 1913.

    The connection to the contemporary Van Gogh is partly thanks to Tucker’s imaginative application of colour. Here various shades of lilac are the focal point for the palette which creates a softness in the shadow rather than anything strong and heavy like black or brown. The yellow of this woman’s shawl is brought vividly to life by this contrasting of colours; it positively sings, and anchors the painting – hence Tucker’s choice for its name.

    (with) The Milch Galleries, New York;
    Private Collection, New York

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    Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1866 Tucker graduated from the School of Mines of Columbia University in 1887 with a degree in architecture and worked as a draftsman at Mcllvaine and Tucker.

    In 1908, he exhibited with Robert Henri, George Luks, George Bellows and others, contemporary with The Eight. Tucker was active in organizing the 1910 first exhibit of the Independents, and was responsible for the catalogue of the Armory Show of 1913. One of his landscapes appeared on the postcard announcement.

    In World War I, Tucker served in the American Ambulance Service in France. From 1921 through 1926, he served as an instructor at the Art Students League of New York where he became a close friend of Wilhelmina Weber Furlong and her husband Thomas Furlong the couple held administrative and executive positions at the league during his tenure as an instructor. His work appears in many major American museums and collections.

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