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Sold at Auction: Charles Ephraim Burchfield

Alias:Charles Burchfield
Water coloristPainter


(b Ohio 1893; d 1967) Born in 1893, Charles Burchfield spent his early childhood in the small rural town of Salem, Ohio. As a young boy he enjoyed many afternoons walking through the woods, noting the variety of trees and plants, listening to the sounds of insects and birds and observing the changes in the seasons and the weather. Fascinated by nature, Burchfield recorded his observations by writing in journals and drawing in sketchbooks. He was passionate about art, writing and literature as a boy and studied from 1912-1916 at the Cleveland School of Art where he ultimately decided to become an artist. By 1917 Burchfield's direct and faithful observations of nature evolved into a more stylized, abstract mode punctuated with symbolic representations. The spiritual qualities of the natural world and an essential reverence for the mystery of life inform his work. Using repetitive, lyrically geometric patterns, Burchfield animated his landscapes with forms that contrast the organic elements. Later in his career, Burchfield began to paint forms that grew from his inner fantasies with an almost child-like quality. (credit: Sotheby's catalogue of American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, November 28, 2007, Lot 49)
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