Bear Totem

Don Nice (b. 1932) Artist
1984 Date:
Oil on canvas Medium
74 3/4 H x 57 W Dimensions

Signed, lower right: Nice 84

Albany Institute of History & Art Purchase Credit
1991.62 Accession number

Don Nice brings a contemporary vision to the American landscape tradition in his ongoing Hudson River series, of which this is a part. The river, seen at the top center, he has called "our Parthenon, our Chartres. We must do everything we can—not just to save it, but to see it." He is among the best-known and most highly regarded contemporary artists to use the Hudson River landscape as a primary subject. Images shown here juxtapose nature and manufactured products. Many of them—the river landscape, the bear, robin, squirrel, oranges, and still-life objects—appear in varying combinations in other paintings in this series. Nice started as an abstract painter, and brings a unique twist to his style of realism by showing real objects but showing them as emblems rather than real things. For example, there are no shadows, no action, no sense of time.

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