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Dale Nichols (American, 1904-1995) Autumn Furrows, 1938

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Dale Nichols  (American, 1904-1995) Autumn Furrows, 1938
Item Details
Description
Dale Nichols
(American, 1904-1995)
Autumn Furrows, 1938
oil on canvas
signed Dale Nichols and dated (lower left)
30 x 34 inches.

Literature:
Dale Nichols, Dale Nichols, Brief Account of His Career (reproduced in a black & white photo with the artist)
Cole Sartore, Worthy Rivals: Dale Nichols & Terence Duren, David City, Nebraska, 2018, p. 24, pl. 17, illus.

Lot note:
Autumn Furrows, 1938, blends together Dale Nichols' highly stylized, Midwestern subject matter within the imposing setting of an Alaskan mountain range. This unlikely juxtaposition came about from a journey the artist took in 1937. In the summer of that year, Nichols traveled from Chicago to the Alaskan wilderness, settling in a small cabin just outside Seward. He was inspired to make the journey by Rockwell Kent, an artist Nichols had long admired. Kent stayed in Alaska the winter of 1918-19 and later wrote about his time painting and drawing there in the book Wilderness. Originally a graphic artist and illustrator, Nichols was still searching for his own artistic voice in the late 1930s. His nascent theories on the use of color and composition to evoke emotion in the viewer came directly from his graphic art experience. The artist hoped that the solitary realities of the harsh region would help him further solidify his personal vision.

During his stay in Alaska, the artist experienced a new quality of light unlike anything he had encountered in the Midwest, with its flat land and rolling hills. The northern lights and the sun against the Alaskan mountains and coastline presented an entirely new perspective on how to use highlights and cast shadows to articulate form. Nichols was so taken by the alien landscape that he continued to visit for many summers after. However, it is from this first trip that mountains became an almost constant element in the artist's paintings, whether he was depicting the rolling hills of the Midwest, the Southwestern desert, or the jungles of Guatemala.

In the present work, the mountain range and sky dominate the composition and tower over the farmer and his horse-drawn plow. An otherworldly glow seems to emanate from the tallest peak, while its steep slopes are cast in dark shadows. The furrowed rows are described in graceful, soft curves that arch toward the horizon and the laboring figure. Nichol's associated early on his career femininity with the landscape and his mountains integrate directly into these psychological and artistic principles. Dwarfed by the tremendousness of the mountain range and the rich loam of the soil, the farmer presents a visual allegory for Nichols' perceived truths of living in harmony with the environment.
Buyer's Premium
  • 29% up to $400,000.00
  • 24% up to $4,000,000.00
  • 16% above $4,000,000.00

Dale Nichols (American, 1904-1995) Autumn Furrows, 1938

Estimate $60,000 - $80,000
Sep 27, 2022
See Sold Price
Starting Price $30,000
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Ships from Chicago, IL, United States
Hindman
HindmanChicago, IL, United States
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0092: Dale Nichols (American, 1904-1995) Autumn Furrows, 1938
Sold for $50,0003 Bids
Est. $60,000 - $80,000Starting Price $30,000
American & European Art
Sep 27, 2022 11:00 AM EDT
Buyer's Premium 29%
Lot 0092 Details
Description
...
Dale Nichols
(American, 1904-1995)
Autumn Furrows, 1938
oil on canvas
signed Dale Nichols and dated (lower left)
30 x 34 inches.

Literature:
Dale Nichols, Dale Nichols, Brief Account of His Career (reproduced in a black & white photo with the artist)
Cole Sartore, Worthy Rivals: Dale Nichols & Terence Duren, David City, Nebraska, 2018, p. 24, pl. 17, illus.

Lot note:
Autumn Furrows, 1938, blends together Dale Nichols' highly stylized, Midwestern subject matter within the imposing setting of an Alaskan mountain range. This unlikely juxtaposition came about from a journey the artist took in 1937. In the summer of that year, Nichols traveled from Chicago to the Alaskan wilderness, settling in a small cabin just outside Seward. He was inspired to make the journey by Rockwell Kent, an artist Nichols had long admired. Kent stayed in Alaska the winter of 1918-19 and later wrote about his time painting and drawing there in the book Wilderness. Originally a graphic artist and illustrator, Nichols was still searching for his own artistic voice in the late 1930s. His nascent theories on the use of color and composition to evoke emotion in the viewer came directly from his graphic art experience. The artist hoped that the solitary realities of the harsh region would help him further solidify his personal vision.

During his stay in Alaska, the artist experienced a new quality of light unlike anything he had encountered in the Midwest, with its flat land and rolling hills. The northern lights and the sun against the Alaskan mountains and coastline presented an entirely new perspective on how to use highlights and cast shadows to articulate form. Nichols was so taken by the alien landscape that he continued to visit for many summers after. However, it is from this first trip that mountains became an almost constant element in the artist's paintings, whether he was depicting the rolling hills of the Midwest, the Southwestern desert, or the jungles of Guatemala.

In the present work, the mountain range and sky dominate the composition and tower over the farmer and his horse-drawn plow. An otherworldly glow seems to emanate from the tallest peak, while its steep slopes are cast in dark shadows. The furrowed rows are described in graceful, soft curves that arch toward the horizon and the laboring figure. Nichol's associated early on his career femininity with the landscape and his mountains integrate directly into these psychological and artistic principles. Dwarfed by the tremendousness of the mountain range and the rich loam of the soil, the farmer presents a visual allegory for Nichols' perceived truths of living in harmony with the environment.
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