Selden Connor Gile (American, 1877-1947) Tiburon Bay 24 x 30in overall: 29 x 34 3/4in (Painted in 1926)

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Lot 35
Selden Connor Gile
(American, 1877-1947)
Tiburon Bay 24 x 30in overall: 29 x 34 3/4in

Sold for US$ 245,000 inc. premium
Selden Connor Gile (American, 1877-1947)
Tiburon Bay
signed and dated 'S.C. Gile 26' (lower left) and inscribed 'Tiburon Bay by S.C. Gile' and stamped 'Mrs. Elizabeth C. Hall [...] Belvedere, Calif.' (on the stretcher bar)
oil on canvas
24 x 30in
overall: 29 x 34 3/4in
Painted in 1926

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Purchased from Elizabeth Hall, circa 1965.
    Thence by descent to the present owner.

    Exhibited

    Oakland, Oakland Art Gallery, Annual Exhibition by Artist Members of the Bay Region Art Association, November 6 - December 7, 1937 (Honorable Mention).
    Tiburon, Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society, Selden C. Gile: The Artist as Historian, April - May, 1993.

    While he was born on the East Coast, Selden Connor Gile considered Northern California his home from the 1910s until his death in 1947. In his formative years, he was considered too 'primitive,' yet the quality of his art was offset by the loveliness of his palette and his exuberance for the landscape. Gile's repertoire of Bay Area subjects reflects his plein air practices and spontaneous painterly expressions exhibited in his use of layered hues and rich textures. 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. The transformative influence of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) on the Society of Six and Gile is palpable when one looks at his shift in style from the early teens through his mature pictures.

    In The Society of Six: California Colorists, Nancy Boas explains that this shift was in part a reaction to seeing the PPIE works,

    After [the exhibition], the Six began applying loose, expressive brushstrokes of varying sizes, using the stroke as an element in its own right...Thus they abandoned the careful finish encouraged in academic work and attempted to reveal their own individuality and spontaneity in the paint surface itself. Combined with heavy impasto in some places and with unpainted areas of the canvas showing through in others, these brushstrokes create a purposeful sketchiness. Now sketchiness became a means of capturing a fleeting moment.

    Tiburon Bay shows the strong influence of the Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), artists such as Swiss painter Paul Klee and American-born Lyonel Feininger and Russian painters Alexej von Jawlensky and Wassily Kandinsky. Gile's fellow Society of Six artist Louis Siegriest said after seeing Der Blaue Reiter, "I know it must have influenced Gile and von Eichman because they got rather bold with their work...They used a bigger brush, I know after that and more powerful. Before....it was more or less the pointillist type of thing, small brush." Ascribed 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 translate the California landscape into the modernity of painting. Although the group did not leave a direct legacy or established school, The Six bequeathed an artistic connection continued by the Post-War Figurative Expressionists of Northern California.

    Tiburon Bay illustrates Gile's tremendous technical skills and exploits the contradiction between the subject of the painting and the power of his depiction. Gile's limited palette of blues, pinks, yellows and whites further emphasizes the confidence of his heavily laden brush. There is an inherent calm to the boats and yet their fractured reflections though his brushwork lends the work a frenetic air. He seems to capture a shift in atmosphere. The reflections of the boats are broken by his hatched and swept brushstrokes of blue and white.
Contacts
Selden Connor Gile (American, 1877-1947) Tiburon Bay 24 x 30in overall: 29 x 34 3/4in (Painted in 1926)
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