Provenance: the estate of the artist; Vanderwoude Tananbaum Gallery, New York (1992); Phillip Sanfield, Farmington Hills, Michigan; Pensler Galleries, Washington, DC; Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina; private collection (2018).
With a Vanderwoude Tananbaum Gallery letter of authenticity, dated May 22, 1992, signed by Carol Thompson (the artist's wife). The gallery were representatives of the estate of Bob Thompson through the early 1990s.
This oil on paper is an extraordinary and very scarce self-portrait by Bob Thompson, made early in his New York period. While Thompson had his first solo exhibition in the spring of 1959 in his native Louisville, he had already moved to New York in the fall of 1958. Encouraged by friends and the success of his Provincetown paintings, Thompson moved to Greenwich Village, drawn to its "Beat" scene of art happenings and jazz clubs. He first shared a loft with artists Jay Midler, Christopher Lane and briefly Red Grooms, on Monroe Street before moving to Clinton Street in 1959. Thompson had his first New York solo exhibition at the Delancey Street Museum in 1960. Thompson only painted a small number of self-portraits in his all too brief, eight year career - the Speed Art Museum of Louisville recently acquired his 1960 Self-Portrait in the Studio. Golden pp. 46-47.