?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 40,000 - $ 60,000
HUGHIE LEE-SMITH (1915 - 1999) Quandary.
Oil on linen canvas, 1997. 1270x1168 mm; 50x46 inches. Signed in oil, lower right.
Provenance: the estate of the artist; thence by descent to the current owner, private collection.
Exhibited: Stella Jones Gallery, New Orleans, LA.
According to the estate, the artist's original title for the painting was Quandary; it was changed posthumously to View From The Window as indicated on the label.
This colorful canvas explores representation, and epitomizes the Surrealism found in Hughie Lee-Smith's late-career painting. The compressed space, architectural elements and faceless mannequin inhabit a metaphysical, dream-like space and reflect the influence of Giorgio De Chirico. In the Hughie Lee-Smith papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Lee-Smith wrote in a 1988 letter to Lowery Stokes Sims, "those who exerted an extraordinary influence of the direction of my painting were: Steumpfig, Evergood, the Berman Brothers, Peter Blume, Hopper, Balthus, and particularly Giorgio De Chirico." The sun-drenched light and floating balloon reinforce the frozen moment, whilst the arrows illustrate the choices an artist has to make in defining a subject. Full of intrigue and beauty, Quandary is an excellent example of the final period of Lee-Smith's oeuvre.