Apr 22, 2021 - Sale 2565

Sale 2565 - Lot 66

Price Realized: $ 245,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 120,000 - $ 180,000
HALE WOODRUFF (1901 - 1979)
Primordial Landscape.

Oil on linen canvas, 1967. 1016x1270 mm; 40x50 inches. Signed in oil, lower right recto. Signed, titled and inscribed "N.Y.C." and "22 East 8th St., N.Y.C. 10003" in ink, upper stretcher bar verso.

Provenance: acquired directly from the artist; private collection, New York; the estate of Allan O. Hunter, Jr., acquired at Swann Galleries, April 5, 2018.

Exhibited: Hale Woodruff: An Exhibition of Selected Paintings and Drawings, 1927 - 1967, Leob Center, New York University, New York, May 15 - June 8, 1967; Hale A. Woodruff: Paintings, Prints and Watercolors, Morgan State College, Baltimore, May 21 - June 14, 1968. Hale Woodruff's retrospective was a celebration of his retirement from New York University as a Professor Emeritus that year.

This large canvas is an excellent example of Hale Woodruff's postwar painting in which he describes landscape and natural phenomena within the idiom of Abstract Expressionism. This significant and striking canvas shows Woodruff's continued evolution as an abstract painter through the 1960s. In addition to continuing his Celestial Gate series, Woodruff now creates some of his most abstract painting with his landscapes. Woodruff's landscape is a beautiful, modernist composition - bold, horizontal strokes define layers between bands of both earthy and jewel-like colors. Another canvas from 1967, Woodruff's Figure, is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.