Medium

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.

Collected by major museums
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
Selected exhibitions
2021
The Historic Hudson River School: American InnovationQuestroyal Fine Art
Hope Springs EternalQuestroyal Fine Art
2014
100 Works for 100 Years: A Centennial CelebrationMontclair Art Museum
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Moonrise, Montclair, 1893

Oil on anvas
30 1/4 × 45 in
76.8 × 114.3 cm
Location
Montclair
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Medium

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.

Collected by major museums
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works from 100 Works for 100 Years: A Centennial Celebration
Other works by George Inness
Related works