Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Desert Transcendentalist

The Ray Serene, 1925
Have you every gone to an art exhibit and found that the artist's work had a sort of emotional effect on you?  That's what happened to me last Saturday when I went to see an exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum titled "Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist".  Her work really speaks to my soul and I couldn't begin to explain why.  I just loved it.

The exhibit is described as the "first survey of the under-recognized American painter in more than 24 years."

Star Gazer, 1929

This painting to the right is called Sand Storm and is described as showing how the sun looks as it starts to break through that heavy cloud of sand and dust toward the end of the storm and the rainbow that might appear after the storm. If you've never experienced that type of storm, I can tell you this really does capture the light of the sun breaking through the brown haze.

Agnes Pelton was born in 1881 and died in 1961.  She was introduced to the desert southwest in 1919 when she visited a friend in Taos New Mexico.  She eventually settled in a place called Cathedral City in the California southern desert.

One thing that struck me was the similarity between Agnes Pelton and an artist whose work I saw at the Guggenheim in New York last fall.  That artist was Hilma af Klint, a Swedish artist I posted about here.

They both were under-recognized and they both were influenced by metaphysical views. Pelton joined a group of artists known as the
Transcendental Painting Group (TPG).

Tomorrow I'll show some works from other members of the group that were shown in another area of the museum and set up to compliment this exhibit.


Steve Reed said...

Beautiful paintings! I've never heard of her. She seems like she may have been influenced by the Georgia O'Keeffe -- Arthur Dove -- Alfred Stieglitz -- Marsden Hartley group, too. Weren't they hanging out in Taos around that time? Or maybe they came slightly later -- in which case, maybe Agnes Pelton influenced THEM!

RedPat said...

I really like that first one, Sharon!

Unknown said...

I love art and Sand Storm is one of my favourite pieces of work I've seen this month. Looks great.
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Thérèse said...

I can understand this feeling having had it for a couple of photographers of painters... These are extremely luminous and must bring joy and pleasure where they are. I discovered this painter following your link.

Catarina said...

Looking at the first painting I felt the same thing you did.
I've never heard of her. I am very glad you have this post about this painter.
: )

bill burke said...

They are all beautiful, my favorite is the last painting.

William Kendall said...

That second one speaks to me.

Judy said...

Those are wonderful! I love the sand storm.

Catalyst said...

Yes, the sand storm painting is the best, I think.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Yes I know exactly what you mean Sharon, art that moves you is good art, I love all of her work you've shown here 💛