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ARTISTS

Ellen Wagener

Over the years, Ellen Wagener has developed a penchant for certain areas and places, revisiting these sites to observe the changing crops, weather, time of day or season. She absorbs the characteristics of a location and recreates it anew on paper. 

Wagener's landscapes demonstrate her awareness of the great tradition of landscape painting, from which she invents her own conceptual and stylistic approach. The Hudson River School, American Luminism, the French Barbizon School, Impressionism, and 20th-century Iowa artists such as Grant Wood and Marvin Cone are the landscape painters that inspire her. At the same time, the influence of the work of such Abstract Expressionists artists as Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline can be felt in her use of frenzied, gestural lines. Her tour-de-force, F5Tornado, 2003, in the Figge Art Museum permanent collection, demonstrates her ability to work within her own alphabet of realistic landscape imagery to create symbolic, abstract works.  Stormy clouds, burning fields, dust storms, and tornadoes move across her formerly pristine, carefully groomed landscapes, demonstrating the powerful force of nature. 

Contrast is key in Wagener's work. There are strong gestural elements and ethereal clouds that soften the focus. While her renderings of fields and trees have a tactile quality, the skies are always elusive. The warm tones of the land against the cool colors of the sky are depicted in endless variations, whether spring, summer, fall, or winter. Her ability to capture the color, light, shapes, and textures of nature allows us to feel the cultivated land, to marvel at the endless diversity of the sky, and to have a mysterious encounter with nature.

Written by Jane Milosch, Director, Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative, Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 

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JULY
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 20 x 18
Price: $2,400.00

TWILIGHT, SEPTEMBER
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 16 x 16
Price: $2,200.00

BIRCH, SPRING
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 16 x 16
Price: $2,200.00


BLUE MIRACLE
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 16 x 16
Price: $2,200.00

OASIS
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 16 x 16
Price: $2,200.00

BIRCH, FALL
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 16 x 16
Price: $2,200.00


BIRCH, SUMMER
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 16 x 16
Price: $2,200.00

BIRCH, WINTER
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 16 x 16
Price: $2,200.00

MARK TWAIN, CRY ME A TWILIGHT RIVER 4
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 14 x 14
Price: $2,000.00


MARK TWAIN, CRY ME A TWILIGHT RIVER 3
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 14 x 14
Price: $2,000.00

MARK TWAIN, CRY ME A TWILIGHT RIVER 2
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 14 x 14
Price: $2,000.00

MARK TWAIN, CRY ME A TWILIGHT RIVER 1
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 14 x 14
Price: $2,000.00


INDIAN SUMMER, DUSK
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 16 x 16
Price: $2,200.00

BLUE SKY DINER DAY
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 16 x 16
Price: $2,200.00

DAWN
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 16 x 16
Price: $2,200.00


TWILIGHT
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 16 x 16
Price: $2,200.00

MY OWN PRIVATE IOWA
Media: Pastel
Dimensions: 16 x 16
Price: $2,200.00

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