Even in the apparent stasis of the Lombard countryside, Congdon changed his style significantly: a new way of conceiving space, light, color, of observing reality. Over these years among other things he experimented with reversing the line of the horizon and fusing opposites in monochrome paintings.
By the early 1990’s, Congdon was too weak to attack the surfaces of the panel with violent blows of the spatula and the former energy of the action painter. However, he did not resign himself to inactivity and sought to adapt his technique to his reduced physical capacities. Over the last two years of his life, when his precarious state of health gave him less control over his movements, a vein of fresh naturalism emerged in his canvases, which had an almost naïve flavor.On 15 April 1998, the day of his eighty-sixth birthday, William Congdon died. An unexpected gift lay on the table of his studio, his last painting. The subject continued the theme of another of his paintings, dated just a few weeks before, inspired by his reading of an essay on Rublev’s Trinity: three trees sunk into the ground silhouetted against a pink orange sky, an unusual color combination for him.