September 1, 2013

Art Review: At Veilleux, the art is museum-worthy


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Marsden Hartley’s “Two Gulls,” 1940-41, oil on masonite.

Images courtesy of Tom Veilleux Gallery

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“Design for Russian War Relief Drive Christmas Card” by Rockwell Kent, 1943, watercolor.

Additional Photos Below



WHERE: 6 City Center (Suite 100), Portland

WHEN: Ongoing

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday

INFO: 828-0784;

Nadelman's simplified and volumetric 1925 "Bust of a Woman" was included in the artist's 2003 retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. I prefer, however, his calm and strong marble "Idealized Head."

Laurent's direct-carved works reveal his brilliant engagement with sculpture in the round. His circa 1925 alabaster "A Basque" is a recumbent nude woman swirling to life through the luminous stone. The back arm dropped over the buttocks of his 8-inch pink marble "Female Form" shows how Laurent could use the reach of the body to achieve surprising and satisfying sculptural gestures.

Possibly the most interesting work in the gallery is Laurent's carved wood "Abstract Form," which looks like a cross between Rodin's "Balzac" and a stylized O'Keefe floral. Veilleux rightly has this dated circa 1915, but the closer this piece is to 1913, the more important it is. (Oh, yes: Abstraction has just hit the century mark.)

Yet this is only a start. My favorite works include a pair of powerful, heart-wrenching gulls by Marsden Hartley, Arthur Rackham's elegant "Queen Mab" for the original Peter Pan, Rockwell Kent's stunningly original 1943 Christmas card for the Russian relief effort, and the eye-poppingly gorgeous 1942 "New Hampshire landscape" by Maxfield Parrish.

Tom Veilleux Gallery may not be large, but it is filled with great art. It's likely the most important gallery in Maine that you have not visited... yet.

Freelance writer Daniel Kany is an art historian who lives in Cumberland. He can be contacted at:


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Additional Photos

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“Bathers” by Marguerite Zorach, 1913-14, oil on canvas.

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“Abstract Form” by Robert Laurent, c. 1915, carved wood on a separate wood base.

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Elie Nadelman’s “Idealized Head,” c. 1910-15, marble, original onyx base.

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