Gustave Baumann lived and worked in New Mexico for more than fifty years, and his views of the West provided subjects for the majority of his prints and the basis of his enduring reputation as an American artist. The landscape of the West and the culture and art of its native people influenced and molded his style as a printmaker.
Baumann first arrived in New Mexico in 1918, intending to spend the summer in Taos visiting his friends Walter Ufer and Victor Higgins, Chicago artists. Overwhelmed by the area’s natural beauty, he filled his sketchbooks. He decided to settle in Santa Fe permanently.
In his work completed in New Mexico he selected landscapes that were unmistakably southwestern and used peculiar points of views to emphasize their vast scale. He employed a favorite device of dramatic shifts of light and color to enhance a sense of space, yet his palette remained fairly dim. Its softness even gives the sensation of blurred color that one experiences in the blinding bright sunshine
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