Purple oval with clouds and pigeons
Winter, 1933.
Agnes Pelton (American, 1881–1961)
Oil on canvas, 30 x 28 in. Crocker Art Museum Purchase; Paul LeBaron Thiebaud, George and Bea Gibson Fund, Denise and Donald C. Timmons, Melza and Ted Barr, Sandra Jones, Linda M. Lawrence, Nancy Lawrence and Gordon Klein, Nancy S. and Dennis N. Marks, Michelle Sekula, William L. Snider and Brian Cameron, Alan Templeton, A.J. and Susana Molinet Watson, Rhea and Daniel Brunner, Marcy Friedman, Sandra Burton Yasso and James Yasso, and others, 2013.54.

Agnes Pelton was born in Germany to American parents and began taking art classes at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn at age 14. She studied privately with Arthur Wesley Dow, who taught his students to “fill space in a beautiful way.” Similarities to her contemporary Georgia O’Keeffe, another of Dow’s famous students, are visible in this piece.

In 1911, Pelton began what she called "imaginative paintings.” She later became a member of the Southwest Transcendental Painting Group and produced mystical paintings like this one. In 1932, she moved to Cathedral City, California. This painting is meant to suggest the spirituality of nature and evoke the idea of cold in visual form.

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