Exhibit: Vladimir Tartakover
My favorite paintings from the Vladimir Tartakover retrospective were his portraits of African Americans.
Perhaps he paints figures better with a darker skin tone.
Perhaps he responds more to their character.
Whatever the reason -- these are strong and dramatic paintings of that subject most famously handled by Kerry James Marshall
Here's one of the earliest paintings in the show - from 1983
His landscapes have a gritty, tactile feeling.
Same thing with his cityscapes. You can feel his struggle to grab and hold everything he can see.
The details are rough - but not clumsy.
Which could also be said of Van Gogh.
Who also was less interested in pleasing the viewer or a market, than in coming to grips with the world around him.