LANDSCAPES

Cummings' summer home in Silver Lake, New Hampshire provides the setting for the majority of his landscapes and also yields the greatest variety of experimentation regarding technique and approach to his subject. In the many landscapes in this collection, one can follow Cummings' approach to landscape in terms of his color aesthetics or stylistic techniques, but one can also see very clearly the tension that existed in the painter between abstraction and representation. Many of the landscapes are either weirdly surreal and muted or else bursting with mad swirls of brilliant colors. His favorite (or at least most frequent) landscape subject by far was Mt Chocorua in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, which often either dominates the canvas or at least makes its presence known (á la Mt Fuji in traditional Japanese painting). He painted the mountain all through the latter half of his life at all hours of the day and night. On one series of drawings Cummings took the time to note the specific time of day each sketch was rendered. It has been noted that Cummings' landscape work recalls the influence of Cézanne, a painter of whom Cummings was intensely fond and whose name he frequently mentions in his notebooks on aesthetics and color theory.


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