Here, in an important letter to Edith Gregor Halpert, Marsden Hartley acknowledges the stature of Landscape, New Mexico: one of the largest, most beautiful and best preserved of his important New Mexico Recollections paintings. The New Mexico Recollections series was Hartley’s first important post World War I body of work, numbering about two dozen, which signaled his artistic and spiritual evolution towards American subject matter.
Painted in Berlin during 1923 and 1924, these works reference the profound artistic and emotional impact of his previous experience with the American Southwest just few years prior. Writing to Alfred Stieglitz, Hartley described New Mexico as “the perfect place to regain one’s body and soul.” While Hartley created numerous paintings during his time in the Southwest, none rises to the emotional and artistic level of the best Recollections paintings. Landscape, New Mexico embodies Hartley’s potent and poignant remembrances of the racing clouds, damp air and electric atmosphere that followed a sudden rain. Jeanne Hokin writes of the Recollections paintings, noting that, “in contradistinction to the earlier New Mexico works executed either in situ or while in New York, these paintings exude a brute force and dramatic vigor heretofore not encountered in Hartley’s artistic vocabulary.”
Landscape, New Mexico, a prime painting in the Recollections series, embodies Hartley’s profound respect for and thorough embrace of a splendid and compelling American, Southwestern and New Mexico landscape, with all its connotations of visual and physical energy, history, culture and art appealing to the artist’s personal psychic power. Here, Hartley has cogently portrayed the “spirit” he felt in and from the New Mexico landscape: the tactile visceral impact of its size, color, light, changing weather conditions, changing hour, and dramatic shifts of perspective.
This is a landscape about space—the American sense of space. It is a landscape about energy, force, and power—and how Hartley found in that landscape a certain definition of self–a definition that would lead to additional series of paintings based on American subject matter, including his Dogtown and Mt. Katahdin paintings. Hartley has always been recognized as one of America’s greatest twentieth century artists and in this instance he can well be taken for his word when he wrote of. Landscape, New Mexico as “…one of the best."
 G. McCoy, “South of the Border with Marsden Hartley: Letters to Edith Halpert, 1931-1933” Archives of American Art Journal 37, no. 1/2 (1997), pp. 11-19.
 J. Hokin, Pinnacles and Pyramids: The Art of Marsden Hartley, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1993, p. 39.
 Pinnacles and Pyramids: The Art of Marsden Hartley, p. 48.
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