Jun 05, 2018 - Sale 2480

Sale 2480 - Lot 132

Price Realized: $ 5,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,500
"A Southern White Girl gets the Shock of her Life." Cover illustration for "The Other Room" by Worth Tuttle Hedden (New York: Bantam Books, 1949). Oil on board. 521x387 mm; 20 1/2x15 1/4 inches, on 23 3/4x18 3/4-inch board. Twice signed "Avati" in lower left image. Edges slightly worn. Matted; framed. Accompanied by two copies of the paperback novel, the Bantam Books issue and the 1966 Ballantine Books printing.

Additional Details

Avati (1912 - 2005) is internationally regarded as The King of Paperbacks and was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1995. "Although Avati did do some magazine illustration beginning in 1949 for Collier's, American Magazine, McCall's, Atlantic Monthly, and others, it was in the paperback field that he found his special niche and where he brought new distinction to that art. Avati's approach was honest and unblinkingly realistic, in keeping with the gritty fiction that was becoming popular in books and movies, but he painted with an artistry that won readership for the books, and a score of imitators who tried to emulate 'the Avati look'" -- Walt Reed "The Illustrator in America" (New York: The Society of Illustrators, 2001).
This work represents Avati's debut on the paperback scene. Previously, it was believed that his cover for "Last of the Conquerors" by William Gardner Smith (New York: Signet, 1949) was Avati's first published illustration, however the publication of "The Other Room" predates the former by two months. As such, this work was the crown jewel of the exhibition "James Avati: King of Paperbacks" at the Gemeente Museum in Amsterdam, October 2005-January 2006.