Laguna Village (Corner of Laguna Avenue and Glenneyre Street), circa 1920 signed 'Joseph Kleitsch' (lower left) oil on canvas 18 x 20in
Provenance: Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, California
Note: Inscribed on a label on the reverse: 'Laguna Village circa 1920 Corner of Laguna Ave. and Glenneyre (Isch house on the right)'
Hungarian-born artist, Joseph Kleitsch, had a deep and lasting affinity with Southern California and, in particular, the natural beauty and dramatic subjects which one could find there. Kleitsch joined the art colony of California Impressionists at Laguna, where this painting was executed. One of the main elements of American Impressionism and the California Impressionists specifically, was to explore the effects of light and color on form while retaining a firm sense of place in the image. Many of the artists employed a technique of painting known as 'en plein air', in which the artist would execute a work while outdoors thus able to fully take in the light and color of the moment. Many of these works are more quickly done and less worked up than their studio counterparts, sometimes revealing more of the artists technique and spontaneity, a feature that became quite desirable to buyers. In the current work the artist employs this technique with an adept handling of the light and the colors so common in the region, while showing a few of the small homes which were becoming more and more common in the area at that time, thus tying in a sense of place and community to the work.