Feb 14, 2013 - Sale 2303

Sale 2303 - Lot 51

Price Realized: $ 26,400
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 25,000 - $ 35,000
HALE WOODRUFF (1900 - 1980)
Red Landscape (The Lonely One).

Oil on linen canvas, circa 1953-57. 508x914 mm; 20x36 inches. Signed in oil, lower right recto. Signed and titled twice (The Lonely One is crossed out) in ink on the stretcher bars, verso.

Provenance: the artist; Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York; Gallery 256, Provincetown, MA, with a handwritten gallery label, verso; private New York collection; private collection.

Exhibited: Hale Woodruff, Paintings, Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York, September 21 - October 10, 1953; Paintings by Hale Woodruff, Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York, September 15 - October 4, 1957; Hale Woodruff, Paintings, Prints and Watercolors, Morgan State College, Baltimore, May 21 - June 14, 1968.

This modernist oil painting is a very good example of Hale Woodruff's early abstraction--he began abstract painting shortly after he started his teaching position at New York University in 1949. The inscriptions on the verso of this canvas reveal how Woodruff changed both the orientation and title of this painting from The Lonely One to Red Landscape. He turned the canvas upside down, flipping the composition 180 degrees between his first solo exhibition in 1953 and his third solo exhibition in 1957 at Bertha Schaefer Gallery. The later Morgan State College exhibition catalogue and the artist's papers in the American Archives of Art, Smithsonian Institution, date the newly titled work to 1957.