DescriptionBIRGER SANDZÉN (American, 1871-1954)
In the Canyon (North Saint Vrain, Colorado), 1942
Oil on panel
25 x 30 inches (63.5 x 76.2 cm)
Signed lower right: Birger Sandzén
Signed, dated, and inscribed indistinctly verso: In the Canyon / (North Saint Vrain, Colo) / 1942 / Birger Sandzen / Lindsborg, Kansas / Presented to / Rachael Jane / 1973 / L.S. Congdon
Private collector, acquired from the above, 1942;
Private collector, Dallas, by descent from the above.
The painting bears an original frame carved by the artist.
We wish to thank Kyle MacMillan for granting permission to reprint below his article "New Appreciation for Birger Sandzén's Singular Colorado Landscapes," originally published in The Denver Post, October 1, 2011:
No painter ever has captured the Colorado landscape with more vibrant colors and livelier brushwork than Birger Sandzén, and the art world is finally catching on.
For several decades after his death in 1954, the Swedish émigré's Post-Impressionist paintings did not receive the acclaim they deserved, in part because he spent his entire career far from the all-important New York scene. . . . [A]ll that has changed in recent years, as an increasing number of collectors and museums scramble to acquire one of the 2,800 or so paintings he produced in his lifetime, and prices for his works continue to escalate.
"I have been in many places, but there is none which adapts itself any more to my desires than this," Sandzén said of the Pikes Peak region in 1923.
Rooted in Post-Impressionism, Sandzén's mature style combines vibrant, often non-objective colors, with thick, energetic applications of paint, with which the artist almost sculpturally suggests the craggy contours of rocks and canyons. But Sandzén was no stickler for representational accuracy. He had no qualms about substituting backgrounds or making other modifications to a scene to achieve the kind of balanced composition he was seeking.
In 1894, the artist spent six months studying in the Parisian studio of Edmond-Francois Aman-Jean, a colleague of Georges Seurat. That time in Paris, then the epicenter of the art world, transformed Sandzén and put him on the road toward a distinctive Post-Impressionist style that loosely resembles that of certain other painters but is instantly and unmistakably identifiable as his.
Later, he switched to a more muted palette, which can be seen in In the Canyon (North Saint Vrain, Colorado), 1942.
An important dimension of Sandzén's work is his connection to American Fauvism, an important but still underappreciated facet of modernist painting in this country.
Estimate: $70,000 - $90,000.
Appears to be in overall very good condition; does not appear to be in-painting under UV exam. Framed Dimensions 30.25 X 35.75 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. 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.
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