November Wind At Dusk monogrammed and dated 'CEB / 1946-59' (lower right) watercolor on paper 34 1/2 x 29in
PROVENANCE: Artist's studio, 1946-1959 with Frank K. M. Rehn, Inc, New York, 1960 Acquired by Dr. Harry Nieman, Dayton, Ohio, 1960 Thence by descent to the present owner Loaned to the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University, 1988-1998 Loaned to Springfield Museum of Art, Ohio, 1998-1999 Loaned to Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY, 1999-2012
EXHIBITED: Columbus, Ohio, Keny & Johnson Gallery, American Master works on paper (1880-1935), May 19 - June 30 1989. Columbus, Ohio, Keny Galleries, A Century of American Watercolor Paintings (1870-1970), February 27 March 13 1998. Buffalo, New York, Burchfield Penney Art Center, Home is Where One Starts From, June 9 September 17 2000. Columbus, Ohio, Keny Galleries, Charles Burchfield (American 1893-1967), February 20 - March 26 2004.
LITERATURE: Jacqueline Hall, "Both strength, spontaneity in watercolor: Diverse styles are hallmark of American works," The Columbus Dispatch, Sunday, March 8, 1998, p.8H, illus. Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Charles Burchfield: Catalogue of Paintings in Public and Private Collections, Utica, NY, 1970, p. 276, no. 1190.
In 1946, Charles Burchfield first began painting November Wind At Dusk. During this time, he likely completed the dark row of houses and the wind bent trees under a brooding heavy sky, and for nearly a decade, the work remained untouched in the artist's studio. In 1957, Burchfield revisited the watercolor and attached a second sheet of paper to the bottom half of the work. He deemed the work complete after adding a sea of windswept grass, a crooked fence, and a scattering of broken weeds in the foreground.
The work was purchased by Dr. Harry Nieman in 1960 for the modest sum of $1,650 and has since remained in the family. The watercolor is counted among the few large works by Burchfield. Burchfield's talent for investing nature and objects with animated cognizance is demonstrated well in November Wind At Dusk. The landscape is alive with movement. The trees sway with the wind while the houses sit and wait with abated anticipation of the coming storm. Only the crows which line the branches of the largest tree stalwartly face the unrelenting wind which sweeps across the canvas. In this piece, Burchfield has managed to capture the tense moment directly before a storm releases its rain onto a dry and thirsty landscape.