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    FREMONT F. ELLIS (American, 1897-1985)
    River Bed at Pajoque
    Oil on artist's board
    22 x 30 inches (55.9 x 76.2 cm)
    Signed lower right: Fremont F. Ellis
    Titled and signed verso: River Bed at Pojaque / Fremont F. Ellis / El Rancho de San Sebastian / Santa Fe, N.M.

    With Jozef Bakos, Walter Mruk, Willard Nash, and Will Shuster, Fremont Ellis founded in 1921 Los Cinco Pintores, Santa Fe's modernist art movement. Throughout his career he drew inspiration from the light and palette of the New Mexico landscape. He was born in 1897 in Montana, the son of a traveling dentist, and received his only art training during a stint in New York, studying for three months at the Art Students League and copying Impressionist masterworks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ellis's first job as an optometrist proved dissatisfying, and in 1919 after a visit to Santa Fe, he decided to plant roots there: he married, worked as a photographer and sign painter, and pursued his true passion of landscape painting. Of the Cinco Pintores, Ellis was the most traditional, never adopting pure abstraction, rather favoring the fractured brushwork and vibrant palette of Impressionism to render the region's mountains, trees, and deserts. During his nearly sixty years in Santa Fe, he maintained ties with the West coast and exhibited at the California Art Club, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Oakland Art Gallery.

    Like the French Impressionist Claude Monet, Ellis painted series of landscapes, often repeating the same scene in different seasons and under varying atmospheric conditions. El Rancho de San Sebastian, a forested region just north of Santa Fe, was one of his favorite serial subjects. With its flickering aspen groves and views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this location afforded Ellis ripe opportunities to experiment with light and color. Here, he captures an eerie, pre-storm effect, where light, peeking out beneath turbulent gray clouds, throws into relief the sandy Pojoaque River bed below. Anchoring the composition is a central band of complementary-colored forms, feathery orange aspens superimposed upon rolling blue hills. Ellis's inclusion of an adobe house and conversing locals is unusual and adds human interest to this striking landscape.

    More information about FREMONT F. ELLIS, also known as Ellis, Fremont F., Ellis, Fremond F., Ellis, Fremond-F, Fremont F. Ellis.

    Condition Report*: Very good condition.
    *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
    December, 2009
    16th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,201

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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