in the Style of Cézanne
Elof Wedin. “Untitled
c. 1944. Oil on canvas. Stretcher size: 24 x
30". Frame size: 31 /12 x 37 1/2". Signed at l. l.: Wedin.
Fine, in hard-carved custom molding.
This exceptional painting by the
Minnesota artist Elof Wedin, although undated, is likely from the
1940s, the decade in which the Wedin’s work was largely
influenced by the post-impressionist style of Paul Cézanne.
Wedin has here employed an inventive adaptation of Cézanne’s
and modeling of the forms of nature to portray a lovely panorama of
mountain highlands with horses grazing in the foreground. True to
Cézanne’s philosophy regarding the
integrity of the two-dimensional surface, Wedin has flattened out
the mountains, hills, trees, buildings, hills, and animals, knitting
the forms together with short, consistent brushstrokes to create an
all-over mosaic of color. The effect of richly blended colors calls
to mind a tapestry of jewel tones.
By the time of his death in
1983, Wedin, an accomplished painter of portraits and landscapes,
was widely regarded as one of the most important twentieth-century
Minnesota artists. He was born in Sweden in 1901, immigrated to
Minneapolis in 1919, and began a career as a professional artist in
1926 after studying at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Art
Institute of Chicago. His reputation largely rests on the landscapes
he painted while traveling extensively in Sweden, Norway, and
Colorado. In his later years, his style tended toward abstraction as
he experimented with free-form textures in pastels.
The painting offered here is a
fine example from Wedin’s “Cézanne” period,
distinctive in size and palette and framed in a uniquely carved
Ref.: “Elof Wedin,
1901–1983” at Swedish American Artist Gallery.