DescriptionWILLIAM LEWIS LESTER (American, 1910-1991)
Oil on panel
24 x 34 inches (61.0 x 86.4 cm)
Signed and titled verso: Austin Hills / Wm. Lester
In 1910, William Lester was born in Graham, Texas and studied at the Dallas Art Institute with important Texas regional artists like Olin Travis. There he joined a group of young, innovative Texas Regionalists, including Alexandre Hogue, Jerry Bywaters, and Otis Dozier. Eventually, this group would become known as the Dallas Nine, and make Dallas one of the most dynamic centers of American Regionalism during the 1930s and 1940s. These artists eschewed the traditional subjects and styles of early Texas Impressionism, found in the work of artists like Julian Onderdonk. Instead, they embraced a modernist approach to the Texas landscape, using vivid colors, strong compositions, and increasingly abstract forms to convey their subjective ideas and feelings toward a particular subject. The results were captivating, often surrealistic works.
Austin Hills is a powerful example of Texas Regionalism at its best. Jagged limestone, thorny trees, and a vivid burnt-orange sky has transformed the landscape into a surrealistic dreamscape, which is at once both compelling and somewhat disquieting. In Austin Hills, Lester brilliantly conveys his personal vision of the Texas landscape, creating a sophisticated painting which reveals his inner-vision of the subject. His work can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the American Embassy in Paris.
Minor frame wear along top extreme edge; under UV exam, several areas of composition appear to fluoresce, but are likely original pigments. Framed Dimensions 27.25 X 37.25 Inches
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