Kenneth Stubbs
(American artist, 1907-1967)

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Special Exhibition at Public Library Includes Some Striking Work by Kenneth Stubbs

Paintings and drawings by Kenneth Stubbs constitute a special exhibition in the Public Library this month. Mr. Stubbs belongs to the younger group of local artists. He was born in Georgia in 1907, studied at the Corcoran School of Art and under E. Ambrose Webster at Provincetown, Mass. He was awarded a first prize, Antique Class, Corcoran School, in 1927, and a first prize in the Portrait Class three years later. He is now assistant instructor in life and antique drawing. He is also a member of the Society of Washington Artists.

Of his 25 exhibits at the Library, 3 are oil paintings, 18 are water colors, and 4 are drawings. Apparently the artist has been strongly influenced by the dominant "isms" of the day, for they find definite and unmistakable reflection in his work. He is at times cubistic, at times abstract, and again occasionally merely crude and vague. In the matter of color, probably the most pleasing of his paintings is an oil of sunflowers in a vase, which shows a harmonious arrangement of blue and orange. His "Webster's House," No. 1 and No. 2, in the same medium are puzzle pictures which are inexplicable to the average visitor, but rather amusing as travesties on the abstract in art.

Among the water colors are two with a distinct flavor of humor. These are "The Call to Arms" and "Suzannah and the Elders," both of which are groups of casts as seen "after hours" in one of the Corcoran school rooms, and imbued with life. But for the most part Mr. Stubbs' water colors and drawings are of rather dreary subjects, such as freight yards, telegraph poles--"Crosses," "Provincetown Shacks" and a "Gully"--in which he himself seems to have discovered nothing of particular interest, or beauty, of light or form or composition.

More striking than the rest is "Pigeons in Flight"--a picture presumably painted in Lafayette Square--pigeons in a flock encircling the heads of persons on a bench, in which he gives an excellent sense of motion in flock formation. Mr. Stubbs follows closely the modern mode that substitutes vagueness for precision, suggestion for assurance which may eventually lead him and us into a completely new and engaging field but has not done so as yet.

Washington Evening Star, October 10, 1936, page B-3