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Ben Foster

Hillside Trees, ca. 1910

Oil on canvas
22 × 18 in
55.9 × 45.7 cm
About the work
PCN
Private Collection, NY
Medium
Painting
Ben Foster
American, 1852–1926
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With his rugged paint handling and deep expressive power, Ben Foster is one of the most deceptively modern of the American Tonalists. Although his subject matter at first seems conventional, Foster’s off-kilter landscapes are compositionally complex and emotionally compelling in their melancholic embrace of the raw Connecticut hills, his home ground. James Abbott McNeill Whistler and East Asian notions of abstract design guided Foster’s hand, especially in the use of subtle patterns and graphic cropping to enhance the dramatic and symbolic power of his landscapes. With fluid and gestural paint handling, Foster laid thick masses of pigment with the virtuosity of a calligrapher, lending his repertoire of trees, boulders, stonewalls, and undulating hills a dynamic energy that speaks the language of nature itself—the world of the “unseen” as George Inness called it.

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view
View in room
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Save
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view
View in room
share
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About the work
PCN
Private Collection, NY
Medium
Painting
Ben Foster
American, 1852–1926
Follow

With his rugged paint handling and deep expressive power, Ben Foster is one of the most deceptively modern of the American Tonalists. Although his subject matter at first seems conventional, Foster’s off-kilter landscapes are compositionally complex and emotionally compelling in their melancholic embrace of the raw Connecticut hills, his home ground. James Abbott McNeill Whistler and East Asian notions of abstract design guided Foster’s hand, especially in the use of subtle patterns and graphic cropping to enhance the dramatic and symbolic power of his landscapes. With fluid and gestural paint handling, Foster laid thick masses of pigment with the virtuosity of a calligrapher, lending his repertoire of trees, boulders, stonewalls, and undulating hills a dynamic energy that speaks the language of nature itself—the world of the “unseen” as George Inness called it.

Ben Foster

Hillside Trees, ca. 1910

Oil on canvas
22 × 18 in
55.9 × 45.7 cm
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