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Red Desert

1965-1966
20th century
153 cm x 138 cm (60 1/4 in. x 54 5/16 in.)

Carl Robert Holty (Freiburg, Germany, 1900 - 1973, New York City) Primary

Object Type: painting
Artist Nationality: North America, American
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Mari and James A. Michener, 1968
Accession Number: G1968.80

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.

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