Charles E. Burchfield
The Sacred Woods
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This book illustrates and accompanies a major touring exhibit that commemorates the centennial of Burchfield's birth. Opening in June 1993 at the Drawing Center in New York City, this is the first exhibition organized specifically to probe the underlying visionary themes, pantheistic philosophy, and religious symbolism in the art of this foremost American watercolorist. The exhibit will also accompany the first national symposium on Burchfield's role in 20th century art, also being held in New York City in the summer of 1993.
Curator Nancy Weekly of the Burchfield Art Center in Buffalo is both curator for the exhibition and author of the text for this book. The works she has selected for both the book and the exhibit survey Burchfield's development of a metaphorical landscape whose iconography can be read as pantheist and transcendental. Burchfield's visionary works show nature reflecting the gamut of human emotions, memory, and his personal quest for spiritual resolution.
Until now, Charles Burchfield has been appreciated as an important and rather unique American artist. He has not easily fit into the art historical niches that others have carved out for him. With THE SACRED WOODS, the Burchfield Art Center reveals a comprehensive understanding of the philosophies that shaped Burchfield's vision, as well as the methods and iconography that he used to articulate his own sense of the sublime.