Jun 30, 2022 - Sale 2611

Sale 2611 - Lot 125

Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
Study for "Sulphurous Evening."

Black crayon on cream wove paper, circa 1925. 390x295 mm; 15 1/4x11 1/2 inches. Inscribed "Round topped windows over at top" in black crayon, lower center recto.

Provenance: Raydon Gallery, New York; private collection, Chicago.

A study for the same-titled watercolor by Burchfield (1893-1967), from 1922-29, now in the collection of The Saint Louis Museum of Art.

Burchfield's (1893-1967) works transcend the Regionalist label that is often applied to the artist. He both a realist and abstractionist. Though he strived to create a strong sense of human emotion and thought in his works, he often did not simply document the reality of his surroundings (he lived most of his life in small towns). Like William Zorach and Emil Bisttram, Burchfield saw nature as being endowed with mystical and mysterious qualities, which he communicated in his works.

Burchfield was born in Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio and attended the Cleveland School of Art from 1912 to 1916. He began his career in Buffalo, New York working as a wallpaper designer for M. H. Birge & Sons Company. It was during this time period that Burchfield's work was more rooted in suburban realism. Burchfield and Edward Hopper began their friendship in 1928, after Hopper wrote favorably of Burchfield's work in Arts magazine (Burchfield in turn, wrote an essay for Hopper's 1933 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York). Hopper wrote that Burchfield, "Has extracted a quality that we may call poetic, romantic, lyric . . . By sympathy with the particular he had made it epic and universal." Like Hopper, Burchfield was able to stop working commercially and focus on painting full time after finding gallery representation. In 1929, Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries in New York, the same gallery that represented Hopper, began showing Burchfield's works. Through the 1930s, Burchfield was the recipient of international recognition; Life magazine declared him one of America's greatest painters in December 1936. In the 1940s, Burchfield's works became more spiritual, transcendental and based in nature.