What Is Tonalism? (12 Essential Characteristics)
David Adams Cleveland
overall: 26.5 x 36.8 cm (10 7/16 x 14 1/2 in.)
Hudson River School and Tonalist artist Alexander Wyant was drawn to the wilderness, especially dappled clearings at dusk saturated with silvery light, and his late work moved to a level of conceptual abstraction and spirituality that placed him at the forefront of modern American painting. Wyant earned early acclaim as a painter of descriptive and tight Hudson River landscapes, but by the mid-1870s he evolved a more gestural and expressive style of Tonalist landscape—influenced by George Inness and innovations from Europe. He often painted in the Catskills, where he sought out intimate views of abandoned farms and panoramas of clouds over distant valleys. His work is filled with exuberant paint handling that verges on complete abstraction, with forms flattened into patches of vibrant color and details transformed into flecked paint marks.
American, 1836-1992, Port Washington, Ohio, based in Arkville, New York and Keene Valley, New York