Smoky Mountains

Oil on canvas
25 3/8 x 25 1/4 inches

As published in: Scenic Impressions: Southern Interpretations from the Johnson Collection

As exhibited in: Scenic Impressions: Southern Interpretations from the Johnson Collection, 2015–2018, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee; Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia; Telfair Museums, Savannah, Georgia; Knoxville Museum of Art, Tennessee; Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts at Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina

Lawrence Mazzanovich—“Mazzy” as his family and friends called him —began his career in Chicago, traveled abroad, and then spent twelve years in Connecticut. He achieved a degree of success, driven largely by his wife. When he tired of her and the routine, he retreated in 1923 to Tryon, a picturesque place nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina.

While the pace of his work slowed, he responded enthusiastically to the gently sloping terrain. His paintings became progressively post-impressionistic, with an emphasis on forms and shapes, rather than the fleeting effects of light. In Smoky Mountains, the tactile paint handling and tall pine in the right foreground serve to flatten the composition in a manner that recalls Paul Cézanne’s paintings of Mont-Sainte-Victoire in southern France.


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