Ralph Albert Blakelock: The Great Mad Genius Returns
Wednesday, April 12
The Curatorial Committee is pleased to present Questroyal Fine Art owner, Louis M. Salerno in a program exploring the genius of Ralph Albert Blakelock. An expert in the life and art of Blakelock, Mr. Salerno and Questroyal mounted the critically acclaimed exhibition "Ralph Albert Blakelock: The Great Mad Genius Returns" in 2005.
At the time of his death on August 9, 1919, Ralph Albert Blakelock was hailed by the London Times as “one of the greatest of American artists.” Born on Christopher Street in New York City in 1847, Blakelock struggled for recognition during the early part of his career as a landscape painter, but by the 1870s he began to forge a unique expressive and evocative style, transcending the natural landscape surrounding him, and his works were soon coveted by prominent collectors. Unfortunately, financial success eluded him, and his wife and children endured extreme poverty. Mental illness confined Blakelock to an institution for the last 20 years of his life.
Looking beyond this dramatic and oftentold life story, Mr. Salerno will focus on the paintings of Blakelock and shed light on a figure who was an influential forerunner to the rush of Modernism that followed him and who continues to be a revered “artist’s artist”.