George Luks

(1867-1933)

George Luks was an outspoken member of "The Eight", a group of artists later recognized as the Ashcan School. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art under Thomas Anshutz and traveled abroad studying from 1885-1895. Luks first met the group of artists known as "The Eight" while working as a newspaper artist in Philadelphia in the 1890s. They held their first group exhibit at the MacBeth Gallery in NYC in 1908. Luks subject matter generally focused on the everyday immediacy and drama of the working class people. He was able to portray their energy and raw physicality. In the 1920s, he shifted to the harshness of coalmining. "The wrestlers" (1905) is perhaps one of Luks most widely reproduced works which shows his ability to capture the essence of the moment with clarity mixed with a reckless approach to technique and anatomy. Luks was one of the founders of the AAPS, which organized the 1913 Armory Show as well as being an influential teacher at the Art Students League. He was found dead in a New York Street at the age of 66.