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George Inness

A Gray Lowery Day, 1877

Oil on canvas
17 7/8 × 25 9/16 in
45.4 × 64.9 cm
location
Wellesley
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About the work
Provenance
George Inness
American, 1825–1894
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George Inness’s fiery career of constant innovation and spiritualizing style of landscape placed him at the forefront of American modernism. Inness evolved from an early, classic Hudson River School style to a more personal style of intimate landscape art influenced by James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s formal principles of design and abstraction and by the spiritual writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Inness’s notion of the “civilized landscape”—abandoned farms and woodlots whose stone walls and cart tracks implied narrative without human presence—became the iconic imagery for a legion of followers. After 1880, his late synthetic landscapes were purely conceptual, made in a studio practice that relied on memory of actual places but was fundamentally an embodiment in paint of the artist’s deepest feelings. With these dematerialized landscapes, attuned to the Transcendentalists, Inness pioneered an essentially conceptualist art, one that would find echoes in the works of the Abstract Expressionists and Color Field painters of the 20th century.

Save
Save
view
View in room
share
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Save
Save
view
View in room
share
Share
About the work
Provenance
George Inness
American, 1825–1894
Follow

George Inness’s fiery career of constant innovation and spiritualizing style of landscape placed him at the forefront of American modernism. Inness evolved from an early, classic Hudson River School style to a more personal style of intimate landscape art influenced by James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s formal principles of design and abstraction and by the spiritual writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Inness’s notion of the “civilized landscape”—abandoned farms and woodlots whose stone walls and cart tracks implied narrative without human presence—became the iconic imagery for a legion of followers. After 1880, his late synthetic landscapes were purely conceptual, made in a studio practice that relied on memory of actual places but was fundamentally an embodiment in paint of the artist’s deepest feelings. With these dematerialized landscapes, attuned to the Transcendentalists, Inness pioneered an essentially conceptualist art, one that would find echoes in the works of the Abstract Expressionists and Color Field painters of the 20th century.

George Inness

A Gray Lowery Day, 1877

Oil on canvas
17 7/8 × 25 9/16 in
45.4 × 64.9 cm
location
Wellesley
Want to sell a work by this artist? Consign with Artsy.
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