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Collections & Critiques


Out in New Mexico is a colony of modern artists little known in the East, outside of New York. The painters live in or around Santa Fe and are called the Santa Fe group. One of the foremost is Cady Wells, whose watercolors are now on exhibit in the Fogg Museum.

The keynote of these artists is that "the mood of the country dominates its painters," and Wells is one who is strongly under the singular spell of the region. The seemingly unreal colors and the patterns of curving rock strata have been used by him as the basis for powerful and intricate designs. The Death Valley and Otowi landscapes are done in a swirling, rhythmic manner with different tones of brown which emphasize the bare aridness of the scene. The view of Pajaritc seems to indicate the influence of Cezanne upon Wells in the development of solid forms and is much in the manner of the early Cubists. Here again the hurried, sketchy drawing filled in with drab browns is characteristic of Wells.

The spirit of stillness, solitude, and melancholy is predominant in the church scenes. Blues and greens skillfully blended and interwoven in the "Church at Jacona" give a weird effect, especially as the solid form of the structure is almost lost in a hazy smothering of paint. Again in "Jacona Houses" the mood is melancholy, sombre, and weird, intensified by dark tones of paint, except for a splash of bluish white breaking out of the gloom on the right side of the picture.

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