Splendid Matter

Colleen Randall, American, born 1952



Oil on canvas

Overall: 72 × 65 in. (182.9 × 165.1 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of the artist



Place Made: United States, North America


21st century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Inspired by the wonder of the natural world and the "emotional responses triggered by nature," Colleen Randall paints to create an experience that captivates the viewer. She describes her process as a construction: "I build the paint surfaces layer upon layer. Each is as immersive as nature is immersive."

A professor of studio art at Dartmouth, Randall reworked Splendid Matter after experiencing the dramatic fall light and colors of Telluride, Colorado. The slow buildup of layers of paint over time reveals her contemplative development of the canvas. Using materiality to captivate the viewer in a sensory experience, she calls attention to her process but also asks the viewer to engage in their own spiritual experience. The explicit connection between the creative and the metaphysical resembles Rebecca Purdum’s Ripton 76, another monumental, purely abstract work. Situated diagonally from each other, the two paintings demonstrate artists taking in their environment to present deeply personal, immersive experiences for the viewer.

From the 2022 exhibition A Space for Dialogue 105, Transcendent Landscapes: Abstracting Nature, curated by Alice Crow '22, Levinson Intern

Course History

SART 31/SART 72, Painting II/III, Colleen Randall, Spring 2022

Exhibition History

A Space for Dialogue 105, Transcendent Landscape: Abstracting Nature, Alice Crow, Class of 2023, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 5 - April 23, 2022

In the Midst of Something Splendid: Recent Paintings by Colleen Randall. Katherine W. Hart, Barbara C. & Harvey P. Hood 1918 Curator of Academic Programming, Jaffe Hall Galleries, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, Janurary 2, 2020 - March 14, 2021.


The artist, Colleen Randall, West Lebanon, New Hampshire; given to present collection, 2021.

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