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Charles Ragland Bunnell
Untitled (Colorado Farm and Mountains)

1940

$6,500

About

An original oil painting by Colorado artist, Charles Ragland Bunnell of a picturesque Colorado farm tucked in between the Rocky Mountains. Presented in a custom frame, outer dimensions measure 16 ½ x 20 ¾ x ¾ inches. Image size is 12 ¼ x 15 ¾ inches. Charles Bunnell developed a love for art as a child in Kansas City, Missouri. Around 1915, Bunnell moved with his family to Colorado Springs, Colorado. He served in World War I and later used his GI Training to study at the Broadmoor Art Academy (later renamed the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center) during 1922 and 1923. In 1922, he married fellow student, Laura Palmer. In the late 1920’s, the Bunnell’s settled just west of Colorado Springs and 1928, they welcomed the first of their three children. Their one-acre homesite, which they referred to as “Old Home Place”, was situated between two sets of railroad tracks at the foot of Pike’s Peak. Charlie converted an old railroad boxcar into his studio, where he later gave lessons. Beginning in 1931, Bunnell spent a year and a half studying under Boardman Robinson. The two men clashed constantly due to a generation gap and markedly different philosophies. Robinson encouraged his students not to stray from realism and though Bunnell mastered Robinson’s preferred style of American Scene painting, he regularly irritated his professor with his abstract sketches. Bunnell taught at the Kansas City Art Institute during the summers of 1929, 1930, 1940, and 1941. Between 1934 and 1941, he painted and taught under federal projects which included assisting Frank Mechau on murals for the Colorado Springs Post Office. However, he did not take to mural making and, after criticism from Boardman Robinson about his use of “heavy daubs which have no place in mural work” he abandoned mural-making altogether. By the late 1930’s Bunnell’s work departed from the American Scene/Modernist style he was trained in towards abstraction. Affected by the second World War and the loss of his 10-year old son, Bunnell’s work of the early 1940’s took on a Transcendental and Surrealist tone. The works from this period are moody and readily reflect the political and personal turmoil experienced by the artist. In the late 1940’s, Bunnell began experimenting with Abstract Expressionism. He alone is credited with introducing Colorado Springs to the new style as it was excluded from the Fine Art Center’s curriculum by Boardman Robinson.

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