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 Emmet Edwards  (1906 - 1981)

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Lived/Active: New York/Iowa      Known for: non-ob, mod genre-townsape

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Ad Code: 3
Emmet Edwards
from Auction House Records.
Zena Res, From Bridge
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Owings-Dewey Gallery of Santa Fe, New Mexico:

EMMET EDWARDS (1906-1981)

As a self-proclaimed "outdoor artist," Emmet Edwards created most of his paintings to reflect his vision of the natural world, based on his immediate geography. Whether painting in watercolor, his medium of choice, or oil, Edwards paintings are dramatically free flowing, almost calligraphic, with curved, spiraling strokes energetically reflective of the landscape he loved.

As a painter of place and moment, he only painted outdoors. In fact, many of his works bear specific inscriptions of location and date. In 1979 Edwards said, "I have no connection with painting unless Im outside among the trees and shrubs [Nature is] like a partner. Its right there with me and its helping me directly as though its helping me lift a timber. I think it smiles favorably upon me and what Im doing when Im sitting out there with it."

Edwards was born in Iowa in 1906 and educated at The Art Institute of Chicago, where he had his first exhibition of paintings in 1928. In the 1930s he was employed in the W.P.A. art program, at which time he endured an anguishing and well publicized court trial, which required him to "prove" he was an artist and was therefore eligible to receive federal compensation. He eventually won, but the accusations haunted him the rest of his life. While he remained confident of his artistic vision and talent, he became cautious about his ability to navigate that talent in the world of public events. His future exhibitions were therefore rare and carefully selected.

In 1933, Edwards traveled to Woodstock, New York, in search of a suitable location to produce landscape paintings eventually settling there permanently with his wife. Woodstock provided the solitude and lush environment he needed to flourish, both personally and artistically. In his work he steadfastly captured the verdant undergrowth and trees, the reservoirs and stonewalls and abandoned quarries that compose the landscape of upstate New York. In his energetic abstraction of nature, Edwards created work that is evocative, not of a particular scene, but of an entire experience conveyed with sweeping brush strokes that fills out the paper to its margins and swirl with a kind of primeval zest.

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