Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), In the Deep Woods, 1918-56; watercolor on joined paper, 33 x 45 inches; Private Collection
Mystic North on Incollect.com
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Charles E. Burchfield’s journals and record album collection reveal the monumental significance that music, as well as sounds from nature and industry, had on his aesthetic. Music often conjured fantastic visions and evocative memories. The audiophile was astutely attuned to his surroundings, which led him to draw and paint in visual patterns what he heard from cascading ravine waterfalls, fierce blizzard winds, insect cadences, bird songs, vibrating telegraph wires, and train whistles—to name just a few. Research has revealed the strong possibility that Burchfield was synesthetic; that is, he simultaneously saw visual patterns and colors when he heard sounds. Burchfield’s special ability to connect sight and sound imbues his art with surreal qualities.
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