Oct 04, 2018 - Sale 2487

Sale 2487 - Lot 22

Price Realized: $ 15,000
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 15,000 - $ 25,000
NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979)
Untitled (Rural Landscape/Construction Workers).

Double-sided watercolor on cream wove paper, 1943. 355x507 mm; 14x20 inches. Signed and dated '43 in watercolor, lower left recto (the landscape side).

Provenance: the artist; Sarah West, New York; thence by descent to the current owner, New York. Sarah West taught textiles, block prints and metal arts a the Harlem Community Art Center during the WPA period and was friends with fellow instructors Norman Lewis and Rex Goreleigh.

This exceptional double-sided watercolor shows the different locales of Norman Lewis's work during the WPA period - the industrial North and the rural South. Lewis taught briefly at North Carolina A&T State University and at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1938. 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.