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Victor William Higgins (1884-1949)
Property from an Oklahoma Private Collection
Victor William Higgins (1884-1949)

The Sisters

Details
Victor William Higgins (1884-1949)
The Sisters
signed 'Victor Higgins--' (lower right)
oil on masonite
13 x 24 in. (33 x 61 cm.)
Provenance
J.N. Bartfield Galleries, New York.
Acquired by the late owner from the above, 1984.
Literature
"American West," The Kennedy Quarterly, vol. 15, no. 3, 1977, pp. 151, 186, no. 112, illustrated (as Six Indian Women).

Lot Essay

Perhaps more than any other artist in his circle of the Taos Society, Victor Higgins' depictions of the landscape and people of the Southwest demonstrate an unrivaled knowledge and practice of the most current trends in American and European Modernism. As with so many young American artists, the 1913 Armory Show had a profound impact on Higgins, and prompted him to push his painting towards a more modern aesthetic. The following year, Higgins was commissioned by the wealthy patron and collector Carter Harrison to travel to New Mexico. The color and geography of the Southwest would prove inspirational for the remainder of the artist's career.

In The Sisters, Higgins emphasizes the structural forms of the composition, underscoring the varied textures and fragmented planes of the adobe homes of the Southwest Indians. Against the neutrally-colored but bold brushwork of the buildings and foreground, Higgins invigorates the present work with bright blue, yellow, pink and purple pigments for the titular sisters' garments as well as the turquoise sky. As a result, The Sisters is a strikingly modern example by the artist, offering a rare and magical glimpse of beautiful complexity in the American Southwest.

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