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Early in his life Joseph Fleck exhibited an amazing proclivity towards painting and the fine arts. Primarily due to his ability as artist, Fleck was able to survive the hardships of World War I as an infantry soldier by painting portraits of military officers and pictures of war scenes. Honing his skills at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Fleck eventually made it to the United States settling in Kansas City. Taos in 1924 was a thriving community of artists and artisans and Fleck quickly fled the Midwest to settle into friendships with artist’s such as E. Martin Hennings, Leon Gaspard and the original founders of the Taos Society of Artist’s.
Fleck embraced a love of the landscape, consumed with emotion towards the rolling terrain of the Taos valley and the magical presence of the nearby mountains. He brought an intensity and personal vision to his work, investing his pictures with a vitality evident in both land and sky – a structured order derived from the stylized shapes of the adobe buildings to the forms of the Southwest landscape.