Skating Rink, New York City
William J. Glackens, American, 1870 - 1938
This painting records a bruising visit to an indoor roller skating rink in New York made by William Glackens, Robert Henri (American, 1865-1929), and many of the other artists associated with The Eight (a group of American painters who focused their attention on scenes of daily life). The hilarious evening, in which Glackens was the first to fall, encapsulates the artist’s fascination with the modern city and its popular attractions. Glackens’s efforts to chronicle the contemporary urban scene were rooted in his training as a Philadelphia newspaper illustrator, when he worked on the Philadelphia Press. The influence of his mentor, Henri, is evident in the energetic paint handling and somber color range of the picture.