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    Ernest Martin Hennings (American, 1886-1956)
    Through the Aspen
    Oil on canvas
    16 x 20 inches (40.6 x 50.8 cm)
    Signed lower right: E. Martin Hennings
    Signed and titled on stretcher: "Through the Aspen" / by / E. Martin Hennings


    The aspen groves of New Mexico, dazzling in fall shades of yellow, gold, and red, provided a favorite landscape subject for the Taos Society of Artists. Where Ernest Blumenschein and E. I. Couse utilized aspens as a vibrant backdrop for Pueblo Indians hiking or riding horses, other members like Victor Higgins were drawn to the distinctive, "graphic" appearance of the trees that befit modernist compositions: slender, tall parallel tree trunks, flattened leaves branching in dense clumps high on the trunk, and white bark with dramatic black knots and grooves.

    Like his close friends Victor Higgins and Walter Ufer, Ernest Martin Hennings came to Taos by way of the Munich School, Chicago, and the patronage of Chicago's former mayor, the art collector Carter H. Harrison, Jr. In 1924, Hennings joined the Taos Society of Artists and quickly developed his signature painting style: colorful, patterned, and poetic scenes of sensitively rendered Pueblo Indians communing with nature. Aspen forests were Hennings' choice setting for these tapestry-like paintings, where Indians on horseback are interlaced with the delicate trees, becoming a part of the overall natural fabric of woodlands, mountains, and sky.

    Formally and conceptually, Through the Aspen illustrates Hennings' belief that man could best find wholeness and serenity in nature. Unlike the ideals of nineteenth-century painting, which diminished the scale of humans within expansive, grand vistas, Through the Aspen integrates man and nature: the two Indians are woven through the aspens like the warp and weft of a blanket. To underscore man's quiet fellowship with nature, Hennings turns the riders away from the viewer, gently guiding them through rolling hills beneath the warm New Mexico sun. The brilliance of Hennings' colors is attributed to his precise method of applying thin layers of oil paint and allowing each to dry completely before varnishing. This vibrant palette also assists in the unification of man and nature: the browns of the horses echo the aspen shadows, which create strong patterning against the yellow ground and turquoise sky.

    More information about Hennings, Ernest Martin, also known as Hennings, Ernest Martin, E. Martin Hennings.

    Condition Report*: Unlined canvas; there appears to be moderate overall surface grime with several tiny accretions; light frame wear along right edge with evidence of frame pigment on work; under UV exam, there appears to be no previous restoration. Framed Dimensions 20.25 X 24 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. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    16th Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,597

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