Gustave Baumann (German/American, 1881-1971)
Cholla and Sahuaro, c. 1924, edition of 120. Signed "Gustave Baumann" in pencil and with hand-in-heart chop l.r., titled in pencil l.l., inscribed "NO 11 OF 120" in pencil l.c. Color woodcut on cream wove paper with "JW Zanders" watermark, image size 12 3/4 x 12 7/8 in. (32.5 x 32.7 cm), framed.
Condition: Soiling, margins 3/4 inches or more, rippling.
N.B. This color woodblock from Baumann's days in New Mexico embodies his contribution as a Western artist: he brings life, color, and character to a landscape that would have otherwise been considered mundane and often uninviting. Against the backdrop of a brilliant blue sky, he makes even cacti seem engaging, with their vibrant colors, varied textures, and seemingly wild composition. But his careful attention to the free-growing shapes of the cacti's arms suggests that they are more than just random; in them Baumann sees and conveys nature's architecture, something that he not only revered but also was known for capturing artistically.