Remington. Forget Russell

I know, I know...I should not be so judgemental. I know there is room in the world for everything but I pick Remington. For me, forget Russell. I love Remington for his use of color--the broad brush strokes that create these vibrant colors in the backgrounds like PINK or Orange to go with the figures that radiate blue. I love how graphic his lights and shadows are--no midtones in the rendering of fabric...just color broken into two fields using thick paint to build up a texture to take care of the lost midtones. I love the gesture of his paint--the expression of the subject--sometimes charging down the plain on unleashed horses--controlled bedlam. Sometimes a rider and horse at peace--waiting for the next chapter to begin. The figures feel natural within their frames--with the environmental stuff making up simple blocked out shapes on the canvas to create the atmospherics. There is a wonderful energy to the figures--where they breathe in their space. Russell's figures are not relaxed, but posed within the picture frame--iin a stiff and sometimes contrived way that seems uncomfortable and cold. His subjects do not invite you in--to live in their space but allow you to peer into the frame to see their world, but not to live it.Somehow, Remington can, by putting his viewer at ease, allow the viewer to go deeper, to feel more with the subject--slathered with his remarkable brushwork, energetic color and design. Some of the backgrounds are patterned in a way I wanted to consider the field pattern an entirely other painting within the painting.

All images and details are from the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas.