Original Birger Sandzen Oil Painting to Sell in Kansas City Auction
By Circle Auction | Oct 2023
The Circle Auction team is excited to present a master painting from one of the most renowned Kansas artists of the early 20th century – Birger Sandzen’s “Gray Day, Logan, Utah” from 1930. This striking oil on board is a testament to Sandzen’s artistic skill and his unique ability to capture the essence of a landscape.
A Brief Glimpse: Sandzen’s Life & Artistry:
Born in 1871 in Sweden, Birger Sandzen was a Swedish-American painter best known for his vibrant and vivid landscapes. He often utilized a rich impasto technique, which involves laying on paint thickly so that it stands out from the surface. This technique, combined with his quintessential color palette, allowed him to depict nature in an almost poetic manner, giving life to every tree, river, and mountain he painted.
Sandzen’s journey in the art world began in his native Sweden, where he studied art before moving to Kansas. Once in America, he quickly established himself as a formidable talent in the midwest art community. Over the years, he became known for his unique style that combined elements of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism with an American twist, making his artworks distinct and instantly recognizable.
Collector’s Appeal For Birger Sandzen Paintings:
Referred to as the “American Van Gogh”, original Birger Sandzen paintings have been sought after by serious collectors and institutions alike for nearly a century. The paintings from Sandzen’s middle career, in particular, are highly sought after. It was during this period that he mastered his craft, producing artworks that stand the test of time. His works can be found in many national and international collections including: Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Denver Art Museum, and Colorado Springs Fine Art Center.
The timeless collector appeal continues to create strong results at auction for Sandzen’s work. While the majority of original paintings sell between $20,000 – $80,000, larger or highly sought after canvases can cross the six figure mark. Circle Auction sold “Cedar and Red Rocks” for $130,000 (with BP) in 2019. A handful of the very best of Sandzen’s work has even cross $500,000.
About the Painting: Gray Day, Logan, Utah
“Gray Day, Logan, Utah” is a striking representation of Sandzen’s middle career. Measuring 14″ x 12″, this oil on board showcases a landscape adorned with poplars. The painting is executed in Sandzen’s characteristic rich impasto, with his signature bold brushstrokes of bright colors. It’s no surprise that artworks from this period of Sandzen’s career are the most coveted, as they capture his artistry at its peak.
The painting is signed at the bottom right corner and has a pencil-signed title and date on the reverse. It comes framed, with the frame measuring 21 1/2″ x 19 1/2″. It has been viewed and authenticated by the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg, Kansas.
You can view the painting in person at our open house auction previews, Oct. 26th-27th. Bidding is open for the painting through Oct 28th, 2023. Explore the painting in the catalog here.
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