The third most formative experience in his work came later, after he moved his family to Taos, New Mexico in 1927 for health reasons and discovered the life, landscape and culture of the American Southwest, which entranced him and became inextricably linked to his art for the remainder of his life.
To capture the spirit and sincerity of the sitter’s likeness, Fechin worked at rapid speed. His quick execution resulted in the deft, animated strokes of the palette knife and brush evident in this portrait with its dabs of vivid, unadulterated colors juxtaposed with expansive scrapes of intermingled paint. The sitter in this work is thought to be Mary Kiker, a friend of the artist's daughter Eya. Following the divorce of her parents in 1933-4, Eya went from, “being my mother's little girl... to my father's closest friend.("Eya Fechin, American West magazine, "Teenage Memories of Taos", November, 1984, pp. 29 - 36). She would continue to live and travel with him intermittently for the remainder of his life.
Lot 227 is illustrated as a back cover of this catalogue.
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