Tiburon highway along the lagoon unsigned oil on canvas 24 x 30in overall: 29 1/4 x 35 1/4in Painted circa 1941
Provenance Estate of the artist. Collection of Elizabeth C. Hall. With WIM Fine Arts, Oakland, California. With Gump's Gallery, San Francisco, California, 1986. Private collection, San Francisco, California.
Exhibited Oakland, The Sohlman Art Gallery, Paintings by Selden Connor Gile 1877-1947 An Exhibition of Paintings in Oil and Water Color, December 5, 1982 - January 31, 1983, no. 91. Walnut Creek, Civic Arts Gallery, A Feast for the Eyes The Paintings of Selden Connor Gile, June 9 - July 10, 1983, no. 203. San Francisco, Gump's Gallery, Recollections 125 Years of California Artists at Gump's, October 6 - November 1, 1986, no. 30.
Literature J. L. Coran and W.A. Nelson-Rees, Paintings by Selden Connor Gile 1877-1947, 1982, p. 69, no. 91, illus. W. A. Nelson-Rees and T. N. St. John, A Feast for the Eyes The Paintings of Selden Connor Gile, Walnut Creek, 1983, no. 203.
A note, signed by Elizabeth C. Hall, and a second note, signed by Louis B. Siegriest, accompany the painting.
Although born on the East Coast, Selden Connor Gile considered Northern California his home from the 1910s until his death in 1947. He frequently traversed the rugged terrain loaded with canvases and materials to capture the rich golden setting of the Bay Area. In his formative years, he was considered too 'primitive,' yet the quality of his art was offset by the loveliness of the color palette and exuberance for the land he painted. Gile's repertoire of Bay Area landscapes reflects his plein-air practices and spontaneous painterly expressions exhibited in the layering of warm hues and creamy texture. He considered his work to be impressionistic in technique, yet he would prove to be one of the most innovative of the Northern Californian painters in the early 20th century. Attributed as the leader and founder of the Society of Six, Gile, along with Louis B. Siegriest, August F. Gay, Bernard von Eichman, William H. Clapp, and Maurice Logan were among the first to introduce California to the modernity of painting. Although the group had not left a direct legacy or established school, The Six bequeathed an artistic connection continued by the Post-War Figurative expressionists of Northern California.
By 1905 Gile had relocated to Oakland and was employed as a salesman for the ceramic building material supplier, Gladding McBean and Company. Albeit, Giles had a predilection towards painting, previous to 1908 few of Gile's early works of California are known and he had not yet discovered the use of vivid color or painterly hand. Louis B. Siegriest recalled Gile occasionally auditing art classes in Oakland without enrolling. Later Gile would claim a more traditional education with the likes of William Clapp, Perham Nahl, and Frank Van Sloun as his mentors. Gile was a self-educated painter and nature was his most prolific teacher. Tiburon in Marin County served as his central subject matter in his later works. In 1927, Gile resigned from his post with Gladding McBean and moved to a cottage deemed the Chow House in Tiburon. The move to Marin County resulted in a considerable deluge of passionate, vigorous, and colorful landscapes.
In The Society of Six-California Colorists, author Nancy Boas quoted Jay Hannah, a dear friend of Giles, in reference to the artist as "fundamentally a loner and there's a kind of pristine beauty to him being there and everything unsullied." Gile's persona, according to Hannah, was reflected in the aesthetics of his work. Tiburon Highway along the Lagoon depicts several domiciles along the waterfront of a tranquil blue lagoon. The midday sky is vivid and dotted with billowy clouds. Typical of Gile's aesthetic standards, the setting is void of figures, instead the prevalent focus is color laid with a painterly hand. The artist captured the warm glow of California scenery whilst communicating the purity of land and beauty of nature.
In Tiburon Highway along the Lagoon, the artist captures the radiating beauty of the peaceful community along the water in Marin County.
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