Visual Art

Julianna Thibodeaux

Family Resemblance

G.C. Lucas Gallery

Through Jan. 28

'Last Stop Dover' by Robert Selby on view at G.C. Lucas Gallery

One of the three most prominent members of the Hoosier Group, alongside J. Ottis Adams and T.C. Steele, William Forsyth (1854-1935) distinguished himself by returning to Indiana and the Hoosier landscape after studying at the Royal Academy in Munich, Germany. Here in the U.S., Forsyth's influence was felt strongly by his students and other painters who aspired to paint beyond the confines of convention, exploring impressionism and a more expansive interpretation of the subject matter. But Forsyth's influence didn't end here. He and his wife Alice Atkinson, who was his student and also a painter, raised three daughters - Dorothy, Constance and Evelyn - one of whom made a name for herself as a painter.

Forsyth's family influence is the subject of the exhibition Family Resemblance, on view at G.C. Lucas Gallery. A lovely exhibition, and a delightful respite from the chaos of the holidays, Family Resemblance offers an intimate view of Constance Forsyth's development as a painter, as well as that of Forsyth's son-in-law, his daughter Evelyn's husband, Robert Selby. As a whole, the three artists comprise a collection of art spanning nearly a century. With a handful of the senior Forsyth's paintings included, plus one of his Munich drawings, we see the influence of the artist on both his daughter and son-in-law; Forsyth's looser approach was taken hold of by both Constance Forsyth and Robert Selby, who evolved styles of their own.

Both Constance Forsyth and Robert Selby explored the technical side of artmaking - Constance honed her talents in drawing and became known for her printmaking. Rich landscapes and city scenes reveal her precise talent and a taste for American regionalism. Watercolors by both artists hint at the beginnings of modernism; the lines are a bit looser, and the colors far more interpretive.

While Constance didn't fall too far from the proverbial tree, she was one of a few women artists who made a successful career for herself when it was not easy for women. Constance became known as a teacher in Texas where she also made a significant contribution to printmaking. Selby, who was once a designer for Ayres, moved with his wife, Evelyn, to Texas where the three lived together; and while they were no longer connected to Indiana, they carried it with them. And Lucas brings it all back.

Family Resemblance is on view at G.C. Lucas Gallery, 4930 N. Pennsylvania St., through Jan. 28. Call 317-255-4000 for information.


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