153 cm x 138 cm (60 1/4 in. x 54 5/16 in.)
Carl Robert Holty
(Freiburg, Germany, 1900 - 1973, New York City)
North America, American
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Mari and James A. Michener, 1968
Working in Paris and New York immediately before World War II, American-born Holty painted in a variety of abstract styles: his work at this time was associated with cubism, biomorphism, and Abstraction-Création. Upon his return to the U.S., he became a founding member of American Abstract Artists, a group that sought to develop an American abstraction that differed from both European abstraction and the then-popular style of American regionalism. Red Desert, the painting included here, comes from later in his career, when the artist was exploring a more organic abstraction in which amorphous planes of color interact and overlap to create washy fields reminiscent of light as it plays off the land.