Rhythm of the Shore
In a distinguished career spanning more than six decades, Bernard Chaet (1924-2012) combined an unremitting commitment to painterly craft with an intensely improvisational and expressionistic energy on his canvases. A long-admired Professor of Painting at Yale University where he taught for more than 50 years, Chaet was dubbed by the noted art critic Edward Lucie-Smith as “one of the most respected names in American art.” Best known for his impasto landscape and seascape paintings, Chaet interpreted the rocky terrain, sea and sky around him in innovative and new ways, converting their forms into rhythms and shapes of non-naturalistic color.
There is a sense of classicism in Chaet’s expressionistic seascapes that suggest a connection with the past, and in particular, various currents of modernism that refracted reality through the individual interpretation of the artist. Like Cézanne, Chaet saw the landscape as an end in itself—and a subject containing intense emotion. Beyond the literal landscape, Chaet placed particular focus on articulating the texture and terrain of his paintings themselves, uncovering unexplored rhythms of lines and color with coarse dynamism and an intrepid brush.