DescriptionANDREW DASBURG (American, 1887-1979)
Finney Farm, Croton-on-Hudson, 1916
Oil on canvas
30-1/8 x 24-1/2 inches (76.5 x 62.2 cm)
Signed lower left: Dasburg
PROPERTY FROM THE KING COLLECTION, TEXAS
Dean Levy Gallery, New York;
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Reed, New Jersey;
Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, May 29, 1981, lot 88;
Graham Gallery, New York;
Sid Deutsch Art Gallery, New York;
The Southern Bell Company Collection;
Martha Parrish & James Reinish, Inc., New York;
Carey Ellis Company, Houston, Texas;
Acquired by the present owner from the above, February 2007.
(Possibly) Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, "Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings Showing the Later Tendencies in Art," 1921;
Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York, "Mabel Dodge: The Salon Years, 1912-1917," September 28-November 2, 1985, no. 3;
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, and elsewhere, "The Advent of Modernism: Post-Impressionism and North American Art 1900-1918," February-July 1986;
"American Images: The Southern Bell Collection of Twentieth-Century American Art," national tour, 1988-2003;
El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, "Discovering the American Modern 1907-1936: The Maria and Barry King Collection," September 8, 2013-January 5, 2014, no. 52.
V. Deren Coke, Andrew Dasburg, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1979, pp. 41-42, fig. 21, illustrated;
J. Baker, Henry Lee McFee and Formalist Realism in American Still Life 1923-1936, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, 1986, p. 37, pl. 5, illustrated;
High Museum of Art, The Advent of Modernism: Post-Impressionism and North American Art 1900-1918, exhibition catalogue, Atlanta, Georgia, 1986, p. 79, illustrated;
American Images: The Southern Bell Collection of Twentieth-Century American Art, exhibition catalogue, 1988, pp. 25, 60, 81, illustrated;
P.S. Cable, Discovering the American Modern 1907-1936: The Maria and Barry King Collection, exhibition catalogue, El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, 2013, pp. 134-36, no. 52, illustrated.
Andrew Dasburg has been called "the greatest draughtsman of landscape since Van Gogh" (A. Frankenstein, "San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle," April 17, 1966). A particularly strong and evocative work within his oeuvre, Finney Farm, Croton-on Hudson "stands as a visual souvenir of a particular corner and time within the world of developing American Modernism" (P.S. Cable, Modern American Painting 1907-1936: The Maria and Barry King Collection, exhibition catalogue, El Paso, Texas, 2013, p. 134).
Dasburg was born in Paris in 1887, and at the age of five moved to New York with his mother. Having suffered a debilitating hip injury that left him permanently disabled, he was required to attend a school for crippled children. Dasburg's art teacher recognized his potential as an artist and brought him to morning classes at the Art Students League where he studied painting under Kenyon Cox. Later he took classes with Robert Henri at the New York School of Art. In 1906, he spent his first summer painting landscapes near Woodstock, New York, under the auspices of the Art Students League landscape painting scholarship. He was taught by Birge Harrison, who instructed students in techniques for rendering romantic landscapes. Dasburg resisted the lyrical style of his instructor, instead favoring a more progressive approach to art-making.
Dasburg traveled to Europe in 1909, where he was introduced to the work of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Paul Cézanne. The trip would prove critical in the development of Dasburg's body of work, which shows a consistent influence of Fauvism, Cubism, and especially the work of Cézanne--in particular the master's planar handling of buildings and architecture. From his study of Cézanne's work, Dasburg learned to apply the fundamentals of Cubism to his personal vision of the American scene.
In 1910, Dasburg returned to the United States and for the next few years lived and worked in Woodstock, New York. Influenced by Alfred Stieglitz's 291 gallery, and by the works of Wassily Kandinsky, Konrad Cramer, Marsden Hartley and Arthur Dove, Dasburg produced work that was more and more abstract. In 1913, he submitted three highly abstract paintings to the infamous Armory Show.
Dasburg's flirtation with abstract art lasted for less than three years. By 1916, he had developed his mature style--an amalgam of abstract shapes from Cubism and a strong structural underpinning from Cézanne. He returned to recognizable subjects, with nature as a starting point. Forms were simplified, but recognizable, and stated in geometric terms.
Painted at the height of his artistic talents, Finney Farm, Croton-on Hudson depicts the home of the eccentric modern art patroness Mabel Dodge. For several years prior to her move out West to Taos, Dodge hosted Dasburg, along with Marsden Hartley and other emerging artists, at her Finney Farm home. Dasburg was particularly close to Dodge, attending her famous peyote party in 1914, and paying homage to her in the titles of three paintings he exhibited at the National Arts Club that same year.
According to Dr. Patrick Shaw Cable, "before Dodge departed West at the end of 1917, her Finney Farm guest Dasburg worked to help realize her plan of making the farm operational. Finney Farm, Croton-on-Hudson belongs to a group of paintings and drawings Dasburg made of the motif, but the featured elements, composition and size of the present canvas distinguish it and suggest that the artist intended it as a memorial to the site. Stylistically, the canvas stands as a transitional point where Dasburg was moving away from his short-lived explorations in abstraction...While the abiding influence of Synchromism is evident in the effect of dissolving forms, here the artist has utilized local color and favored the representational features of his motif. The sweeping arcs of the central tree's limbs are an expressive motif that recurs throughout Dasburg's subsequent career. Here they fan out to wedge a roadway in the lower right. All of these features combine to give an uncanny, almost pantheistic atmosphere to the landscape, which is overlooked by the spectral home at upper right" (Modern American Painting 1907-1936: The Maria and Barry King Collection, p. 134).
Indeed, Dasburg's Finney Farm, Croton-on-Hudson gives a clear indication of the ingredients that were to appear in his landscapes for the next two decades. Here, color is secondary to form. Clearly guided by Cézanne, Dasburg orchestrates his range of shapes and color to give special emphasis to architectural forms. The result is a thoroughly modern and slightly Synchromist interpretation of the American landscape, which merges several artistic devices into Dasburg's, singular, ground-breaking vision.
Estimate: $70,000 - $100,000.
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