Marsden Hartley, an American modernist painter known for his engagement with nature and spirituality, painted New Mexico Recollections No.12 in 1922-23 as part of his Southwestern Landscape series. From his Berlin studio, Hartley drew from memory to create this painting – which measures 29 1/4 x 39 3/4 inches and is oil on canvas – that references the sculptural topography of New Mexico and its natural wave rhythms in land and sky.
Hartley’s use of color scheme in this painting reflects a somber palette with agitated paint application engaged in a turbulent composition. This portrayal creates an intense experience for viewers across the piece; it is unmistakable that this artist was channeling his genuine emotions into the landscape. The perceived solitude depicted is also quite intriguing, leaving room for interpretation regarding how much these memories impacted his state of mind.
New Mexico Recollections No.12 is currently housed among the Huntington Art Gallery at The University of Texas at Austin as part of their collection. Visitors can expect to be transported through time and space to an imagined version of the rugged terrain by viewing this piece on display.