Feb 14, 2013 - Sale 2303

Sale 2303 - Lot 45

Price Realized: $ 19,200
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
HALE WOODRUFF (1900 - 1980)
Californian Hills.

Oil on linen canvas, circa 1948. 407x508 mm; 16x20 inches. Signed in oil, lower right recto. Titled in ink on the upper stretcher bar, verso.

Provenance: private New York collection.

This modern, lush landscape is a scarce example of paintings from the artist's Mexican and Western travels in the 1940s. In the summer of 1938, Woodruff traveled to Cuernavaca and Taxco, Mexico to study Mexican art, particularly to see the revolutionary murals there. Woodruff also had the rare chance to assist Diego Rivera, with whom he helped prepare paint for panels for the ballroom in the Hotel Reforma in Mexico City. Woodruff painted oil and watercolor landscapes of Mexican scenes similar to this painting, returning to the genre that he had developed in France and Georgia. His later mural painting for the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1948 also incorporated the California landscape into a history of African Americans in the state. Woodruff and Charles Alston painted the panels in New York, but they made preparatory paintings and sketches of California scenery to give authenticity to the backgrounds for the panaromic scenes.