New York-based artist Mark Beard has devoted the last two decades to exploring and amassing the work of Bruce Sargeant (1898-1938), a painter whose work idealized and celebrated the beauty of the male form. Had Sargeant not met a tragic and unexpected end in a wrestling accident, he may have gone on to the heights now enjoyed by artists such as James McNeill Whistler; instead, his oeuvre remained hidden for years and is only now being brought to light, with works still being discovered. Prized in elite gallery circles and salons in Europe and the United States, Sargeant's work has never been featured in a major art-historical survey until now. His subtly toned oil paintings of young men engaged in sports and other leisure activities are reminiscent of classic figure painting, highlighting his beaux arts training, yet their gentle elegance continues to speak to contemporary audiences through Abercrombie & Fitch's installations of Sargeant's work in its flagship stores worldwide.

 

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