?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 7,000 - $ 10,000
CHARLES BURCHFIELD Sunrise over Snowfield.
Watercolor on cream wove paper, circa 1918. 180x252 mm; 7 1/4x10 inches.
Provenance: Private collection, New York; thence by descent to the current owner, private collection, New York.
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.