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November 16, 2022

Mid-Morning Art Thread [Kris]

Garber Corn1.jpg

Daniel Garber

A landscapist, Garber specialized in rural, small town scenes. His works are vistas that blend and highlight a harmonic coexistence between Man and Nature. They are peaceful. In this work of late American Impressionism, the artist relies on light and color, shape, and space to create his composition.

Corn depicts a rural eastern American landscape, possibly in Pennsylvania where the artist lived at the time. The viewer is placed on a high hill overlooking a wide valley in autumn. Across the way another line of hills gradually rise, providing quiet seclusion for this farmstead. The work is organized into narrow horizontal planes that recede in space and create depth. Each plane is distinctive with its own features that break up the serene imagery. The foreground is plain with carriage tracks, then the buildings, a field, the cornfield, a patchwork of other crops, and finally the distant hills bubbling up out of the valley. It’s interesting that the human elements are kept small and to the foreground. This allows the landscape to dominate and dwarf humanity.

The horizontal planes of the valley stretch lazily across the entire canvas. Their edges outlined by lines of trees. Here and there, other lazy lines cross these planes vertically in the form of a road, hedgerows, or rows of corn in the middle distance. To my eye, this crisscross pattern complements the already quiet mood of the landscape. The checkerboard pattern is about as static a design as they come. For me, by having the lines meet at near perpendicular angles, Garber emphasizes stillness and peacefulness. When the hills suddenly rise in the background, the artist changes this vertical/horizontal crisscross to oblique zig-zags, which I think enhances the abruptness of the elevation change.

As mentioned above, the natural elements dominate the human features in this painting, but Garber uses light to counter this imbalance a bit. In the bottom center of the painting, Garber placed the three small buildings of the farm that pop out from the landscape and the overall composition. In terms of shape, size and color they are conspicuous. The buildings are small, rigid and square in a painting filled with large rounded rectangles. The one building is a bright white in a work full of orange. In spite of their scale and placement, these buildings stick out. If it weren’t for the white, they would almost get lost in the painting otherwise.

Finally, the color palette of this piece is exquisite. It’s what first attracted my eye. The dominant orange and gold of the autumn landscape are just beautiful. Garber uses different shades of a difficult color to define the forms and features of this rolling valley. He then contrasts the orange with its complement—blue. Look at the hills in the background. Distance is defined by blue but he adds blended orange to define its crags and mounds.

There are two major types of Impressionism. This version seeks to recreate the effects of light and atmospheric conditions on a landscape. Garber choose a clear sunny day in Autumn for his painting. The result is a peaceful and picturesque image awash in bright color.

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posted by Open Blogger at 09:30 AM

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