BOB THOMPSON (1937 - 1966) Untitled (Reflections).
Goauche on cream wove paper, 1963. 610x476 mm; 24x18 3/4 inches. Signed and dated in gouache, lower left.
Provenance: private collection, New York; purchased at Clarke's, Larchmont, NY (2008): private collection, New York.
This Thompson gouache is a wonderfully strange but typical example of his work on paper - inspired by the rituals and theater found in the Old Masters. Reflections, 1962, an earlier gouache painting of this subject is in the Walter O. Evans Collection of African-American Art. Thompson made many studies - even painting directly onto reproductions of the paintings of the Old Masters, like Francisco Goya, before making larger works in gouache in preparation for his oil paintings. Variations of this scene appear in several Thompson works, including his large oil painting Bird Ritual, also from 1963, with a similar composition of the arch on the left, and the pair of madonnas with mantles, or nuns, on the right. Bird Ritual was painted in Spain, or shortly after his return to New York, where was inspired by the late paintings of Goya. In 1963, he and his wife Carol were in Ibiza before returning to New York in the fall. He arrived in time to arrange his first important one-man exhibition at Martha Jackson Gallery in December. Golden figs. 86 and 88; pp. 111,112 and 179.