Hartley moved to Taos, New Mexico in 1918. He was interested in Spanish
mysticism and the Penitente sect, influences of which are evident in
some of his paintings. In the 1920s Hartley announced his conversion
to objectivism, stating he could "hardly bear the sound of the
words 'expressionism,' 'emotionalism,' 'personality' . . . because
the wish to express personal life and I prefer to have no personal life.
Personal art is for me a matter of spiritual indelicacy."