DescriptionBROR JULIUS OLSSON NORDFELDT (American 1878-1955)
Woman with Orange Hair, circa 1916
Oil on canvas
27-3/8 x 24-3/8 inches (69 x 61 cm)
Nordfeldt was born in Tullstrop, Sweden. In 1891 his family left the country to settle in Chicago. In 1899, Nordfeldt attended the Art Institute of Chicago and assisted Albert Herter on a mural commission for the McCormick Harvester Company. The following year the company sent Nordfeldt to Paris to view the mural upon its showing at the Paris Exposition of 1900. For the next three years, Nordfeldt lived primarily in Paris. At first he enrolled at the Académie Julian, but left after only two weeks because he was dissatisfied with the academic training. Instead, he , found a job teaching painting to young German art students and spent time in Reading, England, where he studied woodblock cutting and printing. For most of 1903, Nordfeldt lived in Sweden. During the next seven years he lived for periods in Chicago, France, Germany, Sweden, England, Morocco, Spain and Italy. During these years he worked extensively as an illustrator, completing numerous assignments for Harper's Magazine and The Outlook.
Woman with Orange Hair dates from the period 1912-1916. By this time Nordfeldt had cast aside the low-toned Whistlerian tonalism of his early paintings and began to adopt the brilliant color and daring formal simplification of French Post-Impressionism. This was prompted by a growing awareness of Matisse and the Fauves, whose work he would have seen at the Salon d'Automne in 1908. In addition to Matisse, Nordfeldt was greatly enamored with the art of Cézanne and Gauguin, and appears to have taken an interest in the figurative paintings of Alexei von Jawlensky. Woman with Orange Hai belongs to a series of portraits dating from the 1910s in which Nordfeldt applied paint with quick strokes of pure color, often used a palette knife, traced black outlines around forms, and treated space in a compressed manner. In these portraits Nordfeldt usually emphasized vibrant tones of green, yellow and orange. The series includes artist friends, people involved with the cultural scene in Chicago, and professional models.
Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000.
Normal signs of wear as appropriate with age; reinforced canvas and a 2-1/2 x 2-3/8 inch patch in the upper right quadrant on verso; together with scattered strengthening along the lower edge, face and neck; with a 2 inch vertical repair connecting to a 1-1/4 inch horizontal repair just above her right shoulder; cleaned and with some craquelure.
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