DescriptionARTHUR BEECHER CARLES (American, 1882-1952)
Landscape, Stormy Sky, circa 1912
Oil on panel
15 x 18-1/4 inches (38.1 x 46.4 cm)
PROPERTY FROM THE KING COLLECTION, TEXAS
Mercedes Carles Matter, daughter of the above, by descent;
Private collection, New York, 1970s;
Acquired by the present owner from the above, June 2008.
Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, and elsewhere, "The Orchestration of Color: The Paintings of Arthur B. Carles," February 10-March 18, 2000;
El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, "Modern American Painting 1907-1936: The Maria and Barry King Collection," September 8, 2013-January 5, 2014, no. 29.
B.A.B. Wolanin et al., The Orchestration of Color: The Paintings of Arthur B. Carles, exhibition catalogue, Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, 2000, n.p., pl. 23, illustrated;
P.S. Cable, Modern American Painting 1907-1936: The Maria and Barry King Collection, exhibition catalogue, El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, 2013, pp. 88-90, no. 29, illustrated.
Landscape, Stormy Sky, painted circa 1912, is consistent with Arthur B. Carles' other spontaneous plein-air paintings executed in Paris between 1908 and 1912. Dr. Patrick Shaw Cable writes, "One of his most daring landscapes, [Landscape, Stormy Sky] and its various strata offer a fresh and original view of land and sky--from the broad energetic strokes of green and dabs of brown in the foreground, to the glowing notes of pink and other colors in the horizon, culminating in the four abstract bands for the sky" (Modern American Painting 1907-1936: The Maria and Barry King Collection, exhibition catalogue, El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, 2013, p. 90).
Recognized for his use of expressive and uninhibited color, Carles explored Modernist principles without following a strict formula. He often arrived at artistic innovation in advance of other painters of his day. Considered a precursor of the Abstract Expressionists, he was admired by major critics and fellow artists including Hans Hofmann. Art News called him one of the most important art teachers in America. The moody, Tonalist, Post-Impressionist rendering of Landscape, Stormy Sky reveals a subtle nod to Fauvism, while it simultaneously displays the influence of abstraction, which Carles was exposed to during his stays in Paris.
Carles was born in March of 1882 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduation from Central Manual High School in 1900, he enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts on scholarship, studying under William Merritt Chase, Thomas Anshutz, Cecilia Beaux, Henry McCarter, and Hugh Breckenridge. There, Carles progressed quite rapidly with his painting, receiving the Henry P. Thouron Prize for the best student composition at the Academy in 1903, and the school's Cresson Short-Term Traveling Scholarship in the spring of 1905. During this initial trip abroad, he visited England, France and Spain. He was able to return to Paris in 1907 when he was awarded the full Cresson Memorial Traveling Scholarship as well as a commission from Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Philadelphia to copy Raphael's Transfiguration in the Vatican.
Shortly after his arrival in Paris, he met Gertrude and Leo Stein, visiting their apartment on rue de Fleurus, and he reunited with his PAFA friend John Marin. By 1908, Carles was well entrenched in the French lifestyle and in the spring he moved to Voulangis where the photographer Edward Steichen lived. That same year, with Patrick Henry Bruce, John Marin, Alfred Maurer, Edward Steichen and Max Weber, Carles became a founding member of the New Society of American Artists in Paris. He also became acquainted with European modernists including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Auguste Rodin, and Constantin Brancusi among others.
In 1910, Carles was included in Stieglitz's 291 show "Younger American Painters," which included Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Alfred Maurer, Edward Steichen and Max Weber. By December of that year, Carles returned to Philadelphia with his copy of the Transfiguration, which was unveiled and installed at Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in March of 1911.
There appear to be three spots of inpaint ¾" x ½"along right edge to address frame abrasion, as well as several 1/8" spots along right edge, and approximately 5-7 tiny spots in the lower right quadrant. In upper left corner, there appear to be approximately 10-15 tiny scattered spots of inpaint. There appear to be two fine lines of inpaint in the sky along left edge, each approximately ¾" in length, as well as one small spot along the bottom center. Please note that the present work is housed in Optium (museum quality glazing). For further information please contact a member of the department.
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