Feb 17, 2009 - Sale 2169

Sale 2169 - Lot 16

Estimate: $ 25,000 - $ 35,000
NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979)
Construction Workers/Rural Landscape.

Double-sided watercolor on thick wove paper, 1943. 355x507 mm; 14x20 inches. Signed and dated '43 in watercolor on the landscape side.

Provenance: the artist; Sarah West, New York; thence by descent to the current owner, New York.

This exceptional double-sided watercolor displays both aspects of Norman Lewis's painting during the WPA period - with scenes of
the industrial North and the rural South. Norman Lewis taught briefly at North Carolina A&T State University and at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1937. But he soon returned North, unable to tolerate the segregation of the South. By 1943, Lewis was teaching painting at the new George Washington Carver School in Harlem, where he joined an impressive staff, including Ernest Crichlow (painting), Charles White (drawing), and Elizabeth Catlett (sculpture). Like many of his contemporaries, his experiences in the South continued to influence his later work. 1943 was one of the last years Lewis worked with social-realist subjects before moving to abstraction.