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Agnes Pelton

Rediscover an American modernist and her poetic celebration of nature.

The spiritually inspired pictures of Agnes Pelton (1881–1961) have their roots in the desert of California, a place where she settled in 1932 and lived until her death. Pelton wrote of her highly symbolic paintings that her pictures were “like little windows,” which opened up a view into the interior, her “message of light to the world”. In the 1920s Pelton started to explore abstract painting because this offered her the possibility of translating esoteric topics into pictures. Like her fellow artist Georgia O’Keeffe, Pelton deliberately turned her back on the art scene of the East Coast. She was celebrated for her abstract compositions: “It is simply an oasis of beauty for the eye”, was how American Art News eulogized her work. After her death, Pelton’s work disappeared from the public focus for a long time, but in recent years she’s begun to be valued as a crucial American modernist.

72 pages | 55 color plates | 5 1/2 x 8

Great Masters in Art

Art: American Art, Art--General Studies

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