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    Birger Sandzén (American, 1871-1954)
    In Logan Canyon, Utah, 1930
    Oil on board
    13-7/8 x 12 inches (35.2 x 30.5 cm)
    Signed lower right: Birger Sandzén
    Signed, dated, and inscribed on the reverse: In Logan Canyon / Logan, Utah / 1930 / Birger Sandzén, / Lindsborg, Kans.

    Ruth and Morton Hill;
    N.M. Ruthrauff, La Canada, California;
    Ted Prescott, Plymouth Village, California;
    Mr. and Mrs. Charles I. Emlich, Redlands, California, acquired from the above, 1974;
    Private collection, Salt Lake City, Utah.

    An associate member of the Taos Society of Artists, Birger Sandzén was a Swedish-born artist famous for his vibrant landscape paintings of the American southwest. The son of a minister, Sandzén displayed an early artistic talent, which was encouraged and cultivated by his parents. His formal artistic training was completed in Europe, and in 1894 he emigrated to America, where he had accepted a teaching position at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. For more than 52 years, Sandzén was a professor of art history, drawing, and painting in the small Kansas town of Lindsborg. He was a staunch advocate of the arts and worked within his community to organize art clubs, exhibitions, and lectures. Throughout his career, however, Sandzén's own painting was relegated to late night sessions until 1945, when he retired from teaching in order to devote himself to painting full time.

    Sandzén's early artistic style was heavily influenced by Tonalism and Scandinavian Romanticism, but once he began spending his summers in the American southwest, his palette exploded with color. He began visiting Taos in the summer of 1918 at the height of the artist colony. Four years later Sandzén was elected an associate member of the Taos Society of Artists. That same year, 1922, he exhibited with the group in New York, where he also had a one-man exhibition at the Babcock Gallery.

    In 1920, an art critic from the Washington Star offered the following commentary on Birger Sandzén's work: "The colors used are rather vivid but they are superb and the work has the bigness of the country represented...Furthermore, the colors, while vivid, are perfectly attuned and their values are nicely related. The effects, while startling, are intensely significant and the illusion of light and atmosphere is admirably set forth.

    "The kind of simplification that one finds in these canvases is what the modernists have apparently sought but have, to the present time, secured only clumsily. It is the simplification of nature with a broad vision. It is founded on tradition and it has the basic qualities common with all great art...It is modern. It is contemporary. It is essentially American. It breathes the spirit of the West and it opens new vision. Here is a painter who is worth remembering and whose experimentation must be regarded with utmost respect" (as quoted in E. Lindquist, Birger Sandzén: An Illustrated Biography, Lawrence, Kansas, 1993, p. 81).

    With its thick, textural impasto style and strong, colorful brushwork reminiscent of Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cézanne, In Logan Canyon, Utah embodies the accolades showered upon Sandzén, and is as relevant and impressive today as it was when painted in 1930.

    More information about Birger Sandzén, also known as Sandzén, Birger, Sandzen, Birger, Sandzén, Sven Birger, Sandzen, Sven Birger, Sven Birger Sandzen, Birger Sandzén.

    Condition Report*: Colors appear fresh; Minor, concentrated craquelure in the thicker areas of paint; Under UV exam, pigments fluoresce, but there does not appear to be any inpaint.
    Framed Dimensions 21.5 X 19.5 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
    December, 2020
    3rd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,368

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