Gerrit Sinclair

Gerrit Sinclair brought the charming style of American Regionalism painting to the masses. Gerrit Sinclair was one of Wisconsin's premier chroniclers of middle-class America during the first half of the 20th century. Sinclair's paintings express mood and narrative. Often idyllic, his stylized paintings capture a slower and more relaxed time and place that perhaps existed more as a state of mind than a condition of reality. Sinclair arrived in Wisconsin in 1920 when he joined the art faculty of the Layton School of Art (Milwaukee). He continued to actively create and exhibit his work until around the end of World War II. His work includes images of daily life as it unfolded in the environment of close-knit city neighborhoods, small town and rural Wisconsin. A few of his paintings reflect his own military service experiences of World War I. Artist and educator Gerrit V. Sinclair left a legacy to savor. His paintings capture the essence of life and the times, highlighting his surroundings, no matter where he was. For more than thirty years he depicted Wisconsin's landscapes, towns, lakes, homes, people involved in daily activities, capturing how man worked and relaxed. Unlike many earlier Wisconsin artists, he was not trained in the German academic tradition but rather in a newer modernist style of American Art garnered, no doubt, through his studies at The Art Institute of Chicago. His works reveal Sinclair's perception of local life experience in mid-America. He contrasts urban life settings and activities with the serenity and integrity of the countryside. The reality of each scene is palpable. Although each painting carries a theme of place, that place is universal enough to have broader significance.

Read More