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Henrietta M. Shore (1880-1963)
PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION 
Henrietta M. Shore (1880-1963)

Untitled (Cypress Trees, Point Lobos)

Details
Henrietta M. Shore (1880-1963)
Untitled (Cypress Trees, Point Lobos)
signed 'H. Shore.' (lower right)
oil on canvas
30¼ x 26¼ in. (76.8 x 66.7 cm.)
Painted circa 1930.
Provenance
Anthony Hollinrake, Toronto, Canada.
Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, California.
[With]Richard York Gallery, New York.
Private collection, Beverly Hills, California, acquired from the above, 1997.
Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, California, acquired from the above, 2004.
Acquired by the present owner from the above.
Literature
J.F. Hernandez, ed., Henrietta Shore: A Retrospective Exhibition, 1900-1963, exhibition catalogue, Monterey, California, 1986, pp. 59, 68, no. 32, illustrated.
S. Barron, et al., Made in California: Art, Image and Identity, 1900-2000, exhibition catalogue, Los Angeles, California, 2000, pp. 125, 314, illustrated.
Exhibited
Monterey, California, Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, Henrietta Shore: A Retrospective Exhibition, 1900-1963, December 12, 1986-January 25, 1987, no. 32.
Los Angeles, California, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Made in California: Art, Image and Identity, 1900-2000, October 22, 2000-March 18, 2001.

Lot Essay

Henrietta Shore was one of the most original and forward looking American Modernist painters of the early 20th century. A visionary, "Critics repeatedly deemed her an artist with unlimited potential, certain one day to attain world-wide recognition. Arthur Miller, long-time critic for the Los Angeles Times, asserted in 1927 that 'Miss Shore is unquestionably one of the most important living painters of this century, as strong as any on the west coast for a synthesis of intellectual, technical and aesthetic qualities in her latest work.'" (J.F. Hernandez, ed., Henrietta Shore, A Retrospective Exhibition: 1900-1963, exhibition catalogue, Monterey, California, 1986, p. 9)

Despite the importance and radical and innovative nature of her art, particularly of masterworks such as Untitled (Cypress Trees, Point Lobos), Shore never achieved the widespread fame that the critics predicted. She was a woman too far ahead of her time, too restless and continuously evolving. "Shore mastered and rejected practically every idiom available to a painter in twentieth-century North America, but by committing herself to this odyssey of personal discovery she made it difficult for critics to keep up with her." (Henrietta Shore, A Retrospective Exhibition: 1900-1963, p. 10)

A close friend of Edward Weston, Shore moved to Carmel, California in 1930 several months after the photographer. Weston wrote of Shore's first visit to the area, "She was so excited that at every turn discovered something she wished to paint. Well I knew her feeling!" (as quoted in Henrietta Shore, A Retrospective Exhibition: 1900-1963, p. 30) Both were inspired by the unique and rugged topography of the sea coast, particularly the Cypress trees, which grow nowhere else in the world. They would drive to the point to work alongside one another about twice a week and one can see the mutual influence of their art.

Painted during this time, Untitled (Cypress Trees, Point Lobos) is Shore's most powerful painting from the period. Here she employs bold colors and biomorphic forms to create a mystical composition that conveys her spiritual connection to the place as well as its distinct character. Untitled (Cypress Trees, Point Lobos) manifests Shore's belief that "To be true to nature one must abstract. Nature does not waste her forms. If you would know the clouds--then study the rocks. Flowers, shells, rocks, trees, mountains, hills--all have the same forms within themselves used with endless variety, but with consummate knowledge. The rhythms change, they do not close." (as quoted in Henrietta Shore, A Retrospective Exhibition: 1900-1963, pp. 31-32)


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