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This painting is a pivotal work in California’s art history, linking the art of earlier generations with the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the 1950s. In particular, Figurative painter Richard Diebenkorn saw, admired, and was influenced by this work, saying “Gile’s painting is about painting and the act of painting, as much as it is about simple, unencumbered subjects.”

Gile was the leading member of a group of six Northern California artists that formed an association known as the Society of Six. These artists were modernist, plein-air painters known for the freshness and directness of their approach. Their work helped change the course of California art in that color, composition, and the application of pigment began to outweigh the subject in importance.

Details

  • Title: Cows and Pasture
  • Creator: Selden Connor Gile
  • Physical Dimensions: 19 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. (49.53 cm x 59.69 cm)
  • Provenance: Crocker Art Museum, Melza and Ted Barr Collection
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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