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A Solitude of Space: The Paintings of Thomas Crotty


A Solitude of Space: The Paintings of Thomas Crotty, a retrospective featuring the work of accomplished and widely collected landscape painter Thomas Crotty, will be on view at the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) from September 25, 2003 through January 4, 2003. This major exhibition, which will feature more than 60 of the artist's most significant paintings including oils, acrylics, and watercolors from the 1960s to the present, celebrates Crotty's artistic achievements and reflects upon the unique qualities of the Maine landscape. (right: Thomas Crotty (United States, born 1934), Wolfe's Neck II, oil on canvas, 44 3/4 x 44 7/8 inches. Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine, Anonymous gift. Photograph by Melville D. McLean)

Thomas Crotty, a native of Boston, relocated to Maine permanently after being drawn to its rugged coastline and undeveloped woodlands and fields. Although he primarily paints locales near his residence in Freeport, his realistic works capture the essence of the Maine coast from Cape Elizabeth to Stonington. Known for his careful and tireless observation of nature, Crotty manipulates and interprets Maine's natural light and poetic beauty at all times of day and during different seasons. His meticulous technique and keen sense of composition place his work within Maine's distinctive artistic heritage.

"The art of Thomas Crotty demonstrates with extraordinary grace the powerful tradition of American landscape painting that is still alive and innovative," said PMA Director and exhibition curator, Daniel E. O'Leary.

Crotty, who was born in Boston in 1934 and attended the Massachusetts College of Art, moved to Maine in 1964 where he began to focus on his own art. From the start of his career, his work gained a significant national following amongst private and corporate collectors. Since 1969, his work has been featured in several solo exhibitions in Maine art institutions including the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Treat Gallery at Bates College (now the Bates College Museum of Art), the Van Vechten Gallery of Fine Arts at Fisk University, and Maine Coast Artists (now the Center for Maine Contemporary Art), among others.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a 120-page full-color catalogue published by Down East Books will feature an introduction by PMA Director and exhibition curator Daniel E. O'Leary and an essay by art historian Francine Koslow Millow that explores Crotty's approach to painting.


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