Composition, to my way of thinking, is the arrangement of shapes within an image, the angle of view, the distribution of colors and the scattering of interesting images within the principal image; in this case, the elegant geometry of the adobe boxes makes this composition feel right somehow; the 3 ladders with the shadows they cast, the stair-stepped wall at the edge of the balcony above the furthest ladder, the 14 people in the middle of their day, the splashes of red in their clothing… We get a very 3-dimensional sense of depth, and a flushed feeling of symmetry and balance. The artist titled it, “After the Ceremony.”
Below is another image, ”Dance Court at Old Walpi,” by the same artist, sold at the same auction. Notice the absence of complexity, the relative flatness of the painting, the mundane predictability. Superficially, these images are similar. Artistically, they are worlds apart. You agree, do you not?
Auction bidders vote with their checkbooks and the upper painting, although smaller than the one below, sold for more money. Surprised?
The artist, Gordon Pond, painted Arizona until his death in 2001.
Born in California in 1920, Pond was 81 years old when he died.
His work appears in limited edition prints and in books such as
“American Artists of Renown” 1981-82 (Wilson Publishing Company, Gilmer, Texas Copyright 1981)
“Contemporary Western Artists” (Peggy & Harold Samuels, Southwest Art Publishing, copyright 1982)
“Southwest Art” (Art Magazine Publishers, Inc., August 1979 Volume 9 Number 3), and
“Artists of Arizona” (Volume 1 Mountain Productions of Texas, Inc. copyright 1987)