Additional Material

Archive for the ‘Modern’ Category

John Wilson, 1922-2015

January 27th, 2015

Sculptor, painter and print maker John Wilson passed away on January 26.  Wilson made his life in Boston, graduating from graduating the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston with highest honors  in 1945 and received a bachelor’s degree in education from Tufts University in 1947.  With a traveling on fellowship from the School of the MFA, Boston, Wilson studied with Ferdinand Leger in Paris.  In 1950, a John Hay Whitney Fellowship took him to Mexico where he pursued his interest in  mural making.  His 1986 bronze bust of Martin Luther King stands in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC.  The Boston Globe quotes his wife, Julie: “Essentially, he felt that his main objective as an artist was to deliver a message to people about black dignity, about racial justice, about poor people trying to get a better deal in life.”

We are honored to share 2 important lithographs, Dialogue, 1955 and Urbanites, 1964 by the excellent John Wilson

John Wilson Dialogue 1955, lithograph

Dialogue 1955, lithograph

John WIlson Urbanites 1964, lithograph

Urbanites 1964, lithograph

 

An important abstraction by Alma Thomas

January 15th, 2015

We are pleased to offer this important painting by Washington Color Field artist, Alma Thomas (1891-1978).  Thomas was born in Columbus Georgia and moved to Washington DC with her family n 1907.  In 1924 she became the first graduate of the Art Department at Howard University, and in 1935 received a Master of Arts in art Education from Columbia University.  Her work is held in the permanent collections of the Columbus Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Howard University Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Phillips Collection, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and the Whitney Museum of American art.  Our painting was made in 1972 and shimmers with carefully modulated color.  Please be in touch if you’d like to know more.

 

Alma Thomas Untitled 1972, acrylic on paper

Untitled 1972, acrylic on paper

A rare work by Raymond Steth

October 18th, 2014

Heaven on a Mule c . 1940 is one of Raymond Steth’s best loved works.  Steth depicts a deeply moving narrative of a devout African American farmer and his family.   This poignant image was taken from a folk tale showing a poor family standing on a hill wearing cloth wings in the hope of being taken to heaven.  They’ve brought their few possessions and have made wings for their mule and dog. Steth rewards them with ghost-like angels.  Steth’s work was rediscovered in the landmark 1993 exhibition and catalogue, Alone in a Crowd, which was organized by David and Reba Williams  to share their thoroughly researched collection of prints by African American artists.  The exhibition traveled throughout the USA and brought about new appreciation for an important group of artists who’d been largely forgotten.  We are very pleased to offer this excellent work by a master storyteller.

Raymond Steth, Heaven on a Mule c. 1940 lithograph

Heaven on a Mule

Norman Lewis in the 1950s

September 11th, 2014

We are pleased offer 2 important works on paper made in the late 1950s by Norman Lewis, (American, 1909-1979).   He studied at Columbia University and found work during the Great Depression with the WPA at Harlem Art Center.

Norman_Lewis-Abstration  c. 1957. watercolor & ink on paper

Norman_Lewis-Abstration c. 1957. watercolor & ink on paper

Norman Lewis Figures 1957 ink & oil on paper

Norman Lewis Figures 1957 ink & oil on paper

Lewis exhibited at the seminal Willard Gallery in New York City from 1946- 1964.  He was part the Studio 35 sessions–closed door meetings led by MOMA’s Alfred J Barr Jr, which helped define the Abstract Expressionist movement.  He exhibited with the Abstract American Artists group and was included in MOMA’s 1951 exhibition, “Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America”.

 

Early David Driskell watercolor

August 13th, 2014

We are pleased to share a very beautiful, early watercolor by renowned master painter, printmaker and curator, David Driskell Colorado Scape, 1960.  was made while Driskell was pursuing a MFA at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.   The strong, clear colors and the abstracted landscape of this important work indicate Driskell’s early predisposition toward European modernism.  The paintings and prints of this era explore nature–trees in particular as a means of understanding abstract form.  With Colorado Scape Driskell creates a very satisfying overall intensity, fluid and aggressive line balanced by deeply saturated color.

David Driskell Colorado Scape 1960  watercolor

David Driskell
Colorado Scape 1960 watercolor

Letterio Calapai’s 1946 Underground

July 24th, 2014
Letterio Calapai Underground, 1946

Letterio Calapai Underground, 1946

Underground by Letterio Calapai (1902-1993) is a dynamic work that shows a keen awareness in the methods of Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17, incorporating a combination of engraving, soft ground and aquatint techniques.  Calapai’s vivid reaction to the crush of people commuting on the subway at 42nd Street is well matched to the rich surfaces and charged engraved lines.  The subject brings to mind the social realist works of the WPA prints of the 1930s which Calapai knew first hand from his work in the New York print shop.  It is also interesting to consider this work in the context of Benton Spruance’s 1937 series of lithographs, The People Work.  Views to multiple levels of trains and spaces bring to mind the imagined 18th Century interior Prison etchings of Giovanni Battista Piranesi.  In Calapai’s hands the space is flattened out, and a sense of folded space is created by forced angles.  We are above and below the action, seeing it all simultaneously.

 

A rare bronze by Richmond Barthé (American, 1901-1989)

February 27th, 2014

Head of a Dancer is an elegant portrait of Czech-born dancer Harald Kreutzberg. Kreutzberg was active on the stage and German cinema. Kreutzberg befriended Richmond Barthé when he performed in the United States in the 1930s. Barthé was working in Harlem and the performing arts were a constant interest and theme in his work.  Barthé studied Martha Graham dance techniques to better understand movement and the human form. We have found other examples of Head of a Dancer in the public collections at the Driskell Center, University of Maryland, the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, the Scad Museum of Art in Savanah, GA, and in two private collections. Ours is the only example with the rich, green patina visible here.

Richmond Barthé Head of a Dancer, bronze

Richmond Barthé Head of a Dancer, bronze

Important works by Beauford Delaney noted

September 19th, 2013

We were recently contacted by Paris-based blog, Les Amis de Beauford Delaney asking about our holdings of works by Delaney (1901-1979). We have two superb examples: a 1946 pastel from his New York period and a 1962 canvas from Delaney’s celebrated Yellow series which was made in Paris.
Beauford Delaney exhibited at Philadelphia’s Pyramid Club in 1947. There he met Dox Thrash, an active member of the club who served on the exhibtions committee. To read more of our Delaney’s, click on the link to Les Amis.

http://lesamisdebeauforddelaney.blogspot.com/2013/09/where-to-find-beaufords-art.html

Beauford Delaney, Untitled (grape motif), pastel

Beauford Delaney, Untitled (grape motif), pastel

Philadelphia’s WPA print workshop: Raymond Steth

September 4th, 2013

Raymond Steth, born 1917, Norfolk, Virginia; died 1997, Philadelphia, began working in the graphics division of the WPA/FAP in Philadelphia in 1938. Here he worked with Dox Thrash, inventor of the Carborundum mezzotint. In addition to Thrash’s new technique, Steth produced a fine group of lithographs with Social Realist themes that document his intimate knowledge of city life as well as the rural South. Wrapping Tobacco is a rare example of Steth exploring Depression-era life in Virginia’s Tobacco fields. Steth infuses his prints with a profound emotional that places them amongst the very best works produced for the WPA.
Steth later studied at the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, the Philadelphia College of Art, where he later taught. He co-founded and directed the Philographic School of Art from 1948-1953. His remarkable prints are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library of Congress, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution.

Wrapping Tobacco, lithograph, c. 1940

Wrapping Tobacco, lithograph, c. 1940

Werner Drewes: Atelier 17 +

July 30th, 2013

Werner Drewes (1899-1995) studied with Paul Klee, Johannes Itten and Lionel Feininger after enrolling at the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1921. After a wedding trip he returned to complete his training with László Moholy-Nagy and Wassily Kandinsky at the Bauhaus in Dessau in 1929.  He emigrated to the United States in 1930 and began teaching printmaking at the Booklyn Museum under the auspices of the WPA. He was a founder of the American Abstract Artists and lectured at Stanley William Hayter‘s Atelier 17 in New York before moving on to a teaching career at Washington University in St. Louis. In the 1940s Drewes befriended Hans Moller, a fellow German ex-patriot and respected artist. We include Moller’s portrait of Drewes here.

A retrospective devoted to Drewes’s prints was mounted by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art in 1984. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, New York; National Gallery of Art, the Philips Collection, the Library of Congress, and National Museum of American Artists, Smithsonian, Washington, DC; Boston Museum of Fine Arts; and Art Institute of Chicago. We have a strong selection of works by Drewes and Moller.
Please let us know if you wish to have images sent, or would like to meet to see them first hand.

Annunciation 1945, engraving

Annunciation 1945, engraving

Le Coq Jaloux, 1942

Le Coq Jaloux, 1942, color woodcut

Hans Moller's 1948 portrait of Werner Drewes

Hans Moller’s 1948 portrait of Werner Drewes