Oct 06, 2016 - Sale 2424

Sale 2424 - Lot 93

Price Realized: $ 245,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 120,000 - $ 180,000
NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979)
Block Island.

Oil on linen canvas, 1975. 1295x1626 mm; 51x64 inches. Signed and dated in oil, lower right.

Provenance: acquired directly from the family of Norman Lewis; Bill Hodges Gallery, New York (1995); private collection, New York.

This maginficent blue painting, Block Island is the first work on canvas from Norman Lewis' Seachange series to come to auction. Although the works entitled Seachange date from 1975-77, Norman Lewis began this significant series of works in oil on paper and canvas as early as 1968. He continued to explore it through the decade until his passing in 1979. Inspired by his nautical experiences, each is characterized by Lewis' interlocking composition of curvilinear and circular forms, surrounded by a deep hue of blue, green, red or even violet. The undulating marine forms not only convey the beauty found in nature's abstraction, but make a powerful statement of how those rhythms affect us. According to Ann Edison Gibson's essay Norman Lewis: Black Paintings, 1946-1977, this series is one of the artist's major achievements: "the Seachanges deserve to be considered along with Mark Rothko's late dark paintings, Franz Kline's late black-and-color paintings, and Ad Reinhardt's deeply black square paintings as landmarks of late Abstract Expressionism." Gibson p. 26.