Work of Art: Three Trees, Two Clouds
John Beerman
American
born 1958
Three Trees, Two Clouds
1990
Oil on linen
77 x 77 in. (195.6 x 195.6 cm)
Purchased with funds from Thomas S. Kenan III and the National Endowment for the Arts
© 2012 John Beerman

Throughout much of the twentieth century, American art was dominated by the city. Landscape painting, which earlier had held a central place in American art, became little more than a sideline pursuit. In the final decades of the century, however, landscape painting enjoyed a dramatic revival, prompted partly by deepening awareness of the environmental crisis. John Beerman's paintings are poetic meditations on the enduring power of nature. Three Trees, Two Clouds was inspired by the country around Haw River in Alamance County, North Carolina. But the artist has done more than factually record. He conjures a surrealistic, dreamlike vision in which twin spectral clouds hover improbably between the trees. Earth and sky are thus united by uncanny symmetry.

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