This January the Gibbes Museum of Art will be exhibiting the artwork of American watercolor painter Ogden M. Pleissner. The exhibit, Lying in Wait, will present Pleissner’s skill in capturing hunting and fishing scenes, reflecting his own interests as an outdoor sporting enthusiast. Lying in Wait opens on Jan. 18 and will be on display through May 12, 2019.
Pleissner was born in Brooklyn, but his real passions laid outside the Big Apple. After graduating from the Art Students League in New York, he utilized his skill for painting in a variety of roles and commissions around the world: in the Pacific during WWII as a war painter, in post-war France, and in London. Despite this international pedigree, Pleissner had a real love affair with the American West, especially Wyoming, where he spent many summers as a child and gained an appreciation for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
Pleissner was considered a contemporary master of Realism while he was alive. His paintings emphasize the natural beauty of the land but also capture humans engaged in various actions. As it’s written in Lying in Wait’s description: “Pleissner had a gift for capturing fleeting moments of time — the tug on a fishing line or the pregnant pause as a hunter sets his sights.”
The 48 watercolors that will be on display at Gibbes are indicative of Pleissner’s reputation as a painter of sporting art. The paintings, which were completed at various points in the artist’s 50+ year career, are based off his own sporting experiences throughout the United States, from Wyoming and Vermont — and all the way down to South Carolina.