Granville Redmond (American, 1871-1935) Spring in Southern California, 1931 30 x 40in
Lot 58
Granville Redmond (American, 1871-1935) Spring in Southern California, 1931 30 x 40in
Sold for US$ 446,500 inc. premium

Lot Details
Granville Redmond (American, 1871-1935)
Spring in Southern California, 1931
signed 'Granville Redmond' (lower right) and signed, titled and dated 'Spring in So. California / Granville Redmond / March 1931' (on an old handwritten label on the stretcher bar)
oil on canvas
30 x 40in
overall: 35 x 45in

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Acquired circa 1930 (possibly directly from the artist)
    Thence by descent

    Granville Redmond numbered among his teachers significant artists such as Amédée Joullin and Arthur Matthews at the Mark Hopkins Institute in San Francisco, and later Benjamin Constant and Jean Paul Laurens at the Julian Academy in Paris. Redmond amalgamated the styles of these teachers and the influences of other artists into his own unique vision. The fact that Redmond was struck deaf by Scarlet fever at the age of three also had great impact on his work. As his good friend Charlie Chaplin said in an interview:

    Redmond paints solitude, and yet by some strange paradox the solitude is never loneliness...sometimes I think that the silence in which he lives has developed in him some great capacity for happiness in which we others are lacking.

    Spring in Southern California is a striking example of Redmond's quintessential style. Drawing on the contours and colors of the California landscape Redmond creates an ideal place with pointillist dabs of flowers, spot-shadowed oaks and cool blue mountains. The foreground of the work is defined by and constructed of luscious wild flowers. The flowers themselves are a combination of luminous colors and creamy impasto. His bold brushwork extends to the trees and grasses as well with bits of primed canvas peeking through in a tacit nod to impressionist influence. A weathered road grants the viewer an avenue to wander further into the landscape. The road ends at the mid-ground on the left side while another hill with brighter yellow and softer blue flowers sits beyond. The rich orange and yellows of the poppies front and center serve as a foil to the brown and green trees on the rise in the mid-ground. This contrast serves to push the rolling hills and blue mountains into the distance beneath the scattered clouds.

    At the center of Spring in Southern California is one of Redmond's classic vibrant oak trees with a bare tree trunk to the left of it. The Hudson River school painters used this traditional compositional tool as a symbol of the ominous character of human contact with nature. Redmond's pictures have a stillness to them that belies such dark thoughts. The dead or leafless tree for Redmond can be seen as an additional element of tranquility in the painting. One of Redmond's contemporary art critics, Anthony Anderson of the Los Angeles Times, wrote in 1907 about this aspect of Redmond's work:

    The love of pictured landscape is a later-day development... The present appreciation is undoubtedly due, in great part, to the tremendous stress and strain of twentieth century life—to the need of relaxation out of doors... We seek to treasure mementos of our joy in mother nature and these mementos we call landscape pictures.

    Charlie Chaplin also took particular note of the joy inherent in Redmond's work:

    There's such a wonderful joyousness about them all. Look at the gladness in the sky, the riot of color in those flowers.

    Spring in Southern California has Redmond's riotous color in spades and the bold brushwork that critics and art lovers recognized. It is through his mastery of color and the power of his expression that Redmond brings viewers of his paintings to the quiet and magical abstraction of the California landscape.





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