High desert in bloom signed 'Granville Redmond / JGR' (lower left) oil on canvas 30 1/4 x 40 1/4in overall: 34 1/2 x 44 1/2in
PROVENANCE: Acquired from Jean Granville Redmond, the artist's son Thence by descent Private estate, San Francisco, California
The 'JGR' in the signature indicates that Jean Granville Redmond signed this work for his father.
Granville Redmond is justifiably famous for his classic depictions of the California landscape and his spectacular paintings of wildflowers are historically among the most desirable works by a plein-air painter in California. While these works are often situated on rolling hills, High Desert in Bloom instead explores contrasting textures to create depth of field. Utilizing a number of distinct horizontal planes Redmond uses texture to push his viewers' eyes to the horizon. This example is flat along the bottom and top edges with a fairly smooth surface. Redmond saves his dramatic impasto for the mid-ground and along the snow-capped peaks at the horizon line. The eye is pushed toward the horizon this complex construction of surface and color and only after one digests the depth of field can the subtleties of the composition be appreciated - for example the splashes of light gray (reflecting the colors in the clouds) mixed in with the flowers and greenery. The clouds are composed of largely rounded forms with prominent areas of impasto stroked on the diagonal. High Desert in Bloom showcases a painter at the height of his powers: desert flowers are washes of yellow and orange against a varied green ground and the heavy white and gray clouds above remind the viewer of the drenching that facilitated a glimpse of nature's vibrant palette.