Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield

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Edited by Cynthia Burlingham and Robert Gober

Contributions by Dave Hickey, Tullis Johnson and Nancy Weekly

Working almost exclusively in watercolor, Charles Burchfield (1893–1967) focused on his immediate surroundings—his garden, views from his windows, snow turning to slush, sudden atmospheric changes, or the forest at dusk. He often imbued these subjects with highly expressionistic light, creating at times a clear-eyed description of the world and, at other times, a unique mystical and visionary experience of nature. The book includes drawings from his 1917 sketchbook, Conventions for Abstract Thoughts; watercolors from 1916–18 that were the focus of the first one-person exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (Berlinische Galerie), Germany, in 1930; camouflage designs from his tour in the army and wallpaper designs from the 1920s; watercolors from the 1940s showing the artist's unique technique of expanding and reworking earlier works by pasting large strips of paper around them to dramatically increase their size; and, finally, Burchfield's large, transcendent watercolors from the 1950s and 1960s.

176 pages

Published in 2009