Forrest Bess

Untitled (sailboats), c. 1940
oil on canvas
15 x 18 in
Signed lower left: Forrest Bess. 20.5 x 17.5 in framed. PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Kansas; Acquired from Heritage Auctions Private Collection, Galveston. Note: Untitled (Sailboats) by Bess is an early example of his work. With wild colors and the thick impasto of the brushwork, it is easy to see the influence of Modernism early in his career. At first glance, the painting may appear to be a colorful abstract painting of distorted triangle shapes. However, when it is more closely observed, triangles making up the composition become sailboats with mountains, boats, and flags can be seen in the background, as well as one small fisherman. Sailboats were a common sight on the Gulf Coast where Bess spent most of his life.

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