For a print exhibition at the Anderson Galleries in New York, Haskell composed short, descriptive captions for more than thirty of his recent etchings. The captions provided viewers with a rare indication of the artist’s intentions. The labels are revealing for their emphasis on formal, rather than subjective, concerns. All locate Haskell’s work within a body of American modernist etchings that celebrated the fundamental characteristics of the medium despite their diverse subjects and stylistic variety.
New Meadows Farms depicts a homestead in rural Maine and is full of charming descriptive details rendered with fresh, energetic lines that have the immediacy of a quick sketch. Yet the caption, “Problem of a large sky area, pure etching,” directs our attention to an area of the plate that remains largely unmarked. Haskell exercised extreme restraint in suggesting the transient form of the clouds, which advance in counterpoint to the receding tracts of land.
KG, How He Was to His Talents exhibition, March 24, 2011-August 7, 201111