• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2072

    California, Western and American Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture

    29 October 2008, Beverly Hills

  • Lot 43

    Walter Ufer (1876-1936)

    Taos Mood

    Price Realised  


    Walter Ufer (1876-1936)
    Taos Mood
    signed 'WUfer' (lower right)--signed again and inscribed with title (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas laid down on board
    10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm.)

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    When Walter Ufer arrived in Taos in 1914, fresh from his studies in Germany, he brought with him a European manner of painting and an active social conscience. With these tools he fashioned an art that was rooted in tradition and nurtured by an extraordinary physical and artistic climate. From this combination of factors flowed an energetic personal style which was firmly descriptive, yet powerfully immediate and brought the viewer into direct confrontation with the subject.

    Ufer has rendered Taos Mood with a mastery of light and accuracy of detail that defines his best work. The distinctly southwestern desert light that pervades the scene lends a sense of calm and the freshness of the warm and cool hues is further underscored by Ufer's energized palette balanced against the dynamic symmetry of the deceptively simple composition. The undulating shadows seem to bend with the constantly changing light characteristic of the Southwest and the dramatic clouds overhead float off the picture plane, almost mirroring the foreground spilling out to the viewer to reiterate the harmony of man and nature.


    John E.D. Trask, New York.
    Mrs. Edward R. Gruger, Wichita, Kansas, 1923.
    By descent to the present owner.


    The Wichita Art Museum, "Exhibition of Paintings by Walter Ufer, A.N.A: President of The Taos Society of Artists," Museum News, November 1923, Wichita, Kansas, p. 6.
    D.A. Porter, Taos Artists and Their Patrons, 1898-1950, exhibition catalogue, South Bend, Indiana, 1999, p. 194 (as A Taos Mood).


    Wichita, Kansas, City Library and The Wichita Art Association, Exhibition of Paintings by Walter Ufer, A.N.A., November 4-18, 1923, no. 30.