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George Luks


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(b Williamsport, Pa., 13 Aug. 1867; d New York, 29 Oct. 1933).

American painter and graphic artist. In 1894, after a decade's travel in Europe, he became an illustrator on the Philadelphia Press and made friends with other newspaper artists—Glackens, Shinn, and Sloan—who introduced him to Robert Henri. In 1896 Luks moved to New York, where he turned more to painting and became a member of The Eight and the Ashcan School. A flamboyant character who identified himself with the poorer classes and made a pose of bohemianism, he was much given to tall tales and sometimes posed as ‘Lusty Luks’, an ex-boxer. His work was uneven and unpredictable. It had vigour and spontaneity but often lapsed into superficial vitality. One of his best-known works is The Wrestlers (1905, MFA, Boston), which shows his preference for earthy themes and admiration for the bravura painterly technique of artists such as Manet. Luks taught for several years at the Art Students League and also ran his own school.

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