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Victor Higgins
Mountain Forms # 2
about 1925–27
40 1/2 x 43 1/16 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Arvin Gottlieb

Nature's elemental grandeur dwarfs the figures as they wind their way through rugged terrain. Higgins tackled the landscape near Taos, New Mexico, with refreshing spontaneity, believing that “the object of painting is not to copy nature; …painting should begin with this morning—should reflect today's experiences.” He eliminated minute detail and simplified form to emphasize patterns of color and shape.