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    Description

    BIRGER SANDZÉN (American, 1871-1954)
    Early Fall, Smoky Hill River (Kansas), 1940
    Oil on masonite
    27-1/2 x 36 inches (69.9 x 91.4 cm)
    Signed lower center: Birger Sandzén
    Titled, signed, and dated verso: Early Fall / Smoky River, Kansas / Birger Sandzén / Lindsborg, Kansas / 1940

    PROVENANCE:
    The Artist's private collection;
    Pratt Community College, Kansas (1941).

    EXHIBITED:
    Pratt High School, Sandzén Exhibit, March 1941;
    Delmar Riney Art Gallery, Pratt Community College, Kansas.

    All proceeds of the sale of this work benefit the scholarship fund of the Pratt Community College Foundation.

    An associate member of the Taos Society of Artists, Birger Sandzén was a Swedish-born artist famous for his vibrant landscape paintings of the American southwest. The son of a minister, Sandzén displayed an early artistic talent, which was encouraged and cultivated by his parents. His formal artistic training was completed in Europe, and in 1894 he immigrated to America, where he had accepted a teaching position at Bethany College. For more than 52 years, Sandzén was a professor of art history, drawing, and painting in the small Kansas town of Lindsborg. He was a staunch advocate of the arts and worked within his community to organize art clubs, exhibitions, and lectures. Throughout his career, however, Sandzén's own painting was relegated to late night sessions until 1945, when he retired from teaching in order to devote himself to painting full time.

    Sandzén's early artistic style was heavily influenced by Tonalism and Scandinavian Romanticism, but once he began spending his summers in the American southwest, his palette exploded with color. He began visiting Taos in the summer of 1918 at the height of the artist colony. Four years later Sandzén was elected an associate member of the Taos Society of Artists. That same year, 1922, he exhibited with the group in New York, where he also had a one-man exhibition at the Babcock Gallery.

    Early Fall, Smoky River is a vibrant example of Sandzén's work, here being offered by the Pratt Community College Foundation. This painting was exhibited at the local high school in Pratt, Kansas, in March of 1941 after which it was acquired by the college. A thick impasto layer, reminiscent of Impressionism, is tempered by a modernist execution in Early Fall, Smoky River. Sandzén's Fauvist palette and strong brushwork energize his plein air landscapes while leaving the viewer with a sense of visual purity.


    We would like to extend our appreciation to Mr. Ron Michael, Curator of the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery (Lindsborg, Kansas) for his assistance in researching this lot.




    Condition Report*: Very good condition.  Painting layer has very well preserved impasto layer with no visible losses.  Slight surface dirt visible in two isolated locations: in the field of the sky to the left of the trees (approximately 3/4-inch in diameter) and in the lower right corner (approximately 1-inch in diameter). Framed Dimensions 35 X 44 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2011
    5th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,395

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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