Ogden M. Pleissner (1905-1983)
Western Pheasant Hunting
signed "Pleissner" lower right
watercolor, 18 by 28 in.
Ogden Minton Pleissner was born in Brooklyn, New York, and studied figure painting and portraiture with Frank DuMond and Frederick J. Boston at theArt Students League of New York. Despite growing up in the city, Pleissner was attracted to the outdoors and as a teen he visited dude ranches in Wyoming, where he sketched from life. In later years, Pleissner and his first wife, Mary, wereregular guests at the CM Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming. Pleissner wanted to be classified primarily as a landscape painter, who also loved to hunt and fish. During World War II, Pleissner painted forthe United States Air Force and "Life" magazine. During his years in the service, he primarily completed watercolors as the portability and immediacy of that medium accommodated working in the field. Pleissner’s work is included in more than thirty public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and hangs in the offices of the Pentagon, West Point, and the Air Force Academy.
Pleissner’s subjects range from the landscapes of Europe to salmon fishing in Quebec and his style is informed by the classical traditions. He is quoted as saying, "A fine painting is not just the subject...It is the feeling conveyed of form, bulk, space, dimensionality, and sensitivity. The mood of the picture, that is most important."
Depicting Western pheasant shooting with black labs, this watercolor is a rare and possibly unique subject matter for the artist. Expertly conceived, the dogs have just flushed two pheasants and the hunters are poised at the ready. Pleissner’s ability to capture light and shadows is on full display is this masterwork.
Provenance: Private Collection, Florida
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