Work of the Week — “Bathers” by Abraham Walkowitz

Monday, March 12, 2018

by Sadie Allen

Despite the rainy and frigid weather lately, there’s no denying that spring is upon us! Flowers are beginning to bloom, birds are starting to return, and the earth is finally waking up from its season-long slumber. Soon leaves will return to trees and temperatures will rise! Abraham Walkowitz’s watercolor painting Bathers reminds me of the returning season with its pink hues and warm tones.

Abraham Walkowitz, born in 1880 in Tyumen, Russia, soon moved to New York City with his family in 1889. At the National Academy of Design in New York City, as well as the Academie Julian in Paris, he studied art and created many dreamy pieces. He was even a member of the first artist cooperative in the in the United States: the People’s Art Guild (founded in 1915). His extensive travels throughout Europe gave him even more inspiration for his work.

I especially adore the vivid flower beds in Bathers, particularly because of the contrast between the orange and pink hues. These tie in nicely with what the sunbathing women are wearing, making them the focus of the painting. I also enjoy the lavender background, which sets the tone for the dreamy state of the painting. The beauty of the natural landscape reminds me in a way of Western North Carolina, with its lush greenery and vast flora. I can’t wait for our region to transform into its warm, springtime self.

Artwork above: Abraham Walkowitz, Bathers, 1910, Watercolor Painting, 16.38 x 19.5 inches. Museum Purchase. 1998.04.22.