Vine Wood
Agnes Pelton
Vine Wood

Gallery D
American Paintings

Alongside Zorach's works were Kenneth Hayes Miller's and Agnes Pelton's (left) desolate and dreamlike landscapes. Miller, better known for teaching Edward Hopper, Reginald Marsh, and Isabel Bishop at New York's Art Students' League, was one of the first artists to have his work included in a show at the Museum of Modern Art. Pelton went on to help form the Trancendental Painting Group (TPG) in the 1930s, a small group of abstract painters who lived primarily in New Mexico (except for Pelton). Raymond Johnson, perhaps the most noted artist from the TPG, shared with Pelton her interest in principles gleaned from the paintings and writings of Wassily Kandinsky. At the time of the Armory Show, Pelton was creating what she called "Imaginative Paintings," which like impressionism explored the variations of sunlight but focused on mythic rather than contemporary scenes with titles like Vine Wood (above) and Stone Age. In the 1936 publication Understanding Modern Art, Pelton is described as "a woman who is almost in a class by herself . . . Her later work is of a strictly mystical, visionary character . . . It is an art of detached spirituality" (Katz 734). Like many other modern artists and writers, Pelton studied the theosophic writings of Madame Blavatsky, who drew from a variety of monotheistic and polytheistic religions. Kandinsky wrote of Blavatsky's Theosophical Society in Concerning the Spiritual in Art as "the material form [of] one of the greatest spiritual movements" (Kandinsky 13).


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