336. Birger Sandzen

Windwhipped Pines

Lithograph, circa 1928
Size: 40.5 × 56 cm
Full margins. Signed and titled in pencil (lower margin).
A very good impression.

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It is said that it was fortunate for American art that the Swedish artist Sven Birger Sandzen (1871–1954) decided to emigrate and settle in Kansas. His artistic education took place in Paris among the Impressionists and Pointillists, and once in Kansas he organized the Prairie Print Makers Society. His ability to render the landscape into ‘opalescent jewels of shimmering colors’ led many to see him as the bridge in America between Impressionism and the Abstract-Expressionists. He was heaped with honours, including a knighthood from the King of Sweden. The photograph of him in his studio hints at another strand of his inspiration: behind him is what amounts to a Tibetan Buddhist altar. There is a whiff of Rorik about him.