Feb 16, 2023 - Sale 2626

Sale 2626 - Lot 189

Price Realized: $ 2,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500


Study for Williamsburg Housing Project Mural.
Pencil, ink, and gouache on illustration board, c. 1936. Inscribed by artist's first wife, Esphyr Slobodkina, Ilya Bolotowsky (by ES), lower right. 159x342 mm; 6 1/4x13 1/2 inches.

Provenance: The artist; Esphyr Slobodkina; Sid Deutsch Gallery, NY; Private collection, NJ.

In 1936 the Federal Art Project (FAP), Works Progress Administration (WPA) work relief program commissioned Paul Kelpe, Ilya Bolotowsky, Balcomb Greene, and Albert Swinden to create murals for the community rooms of the Williamsburg Public Housing Development in Brooklyn, NY. Thought destroyed, these murals resurfaced during a renovation having been sealed behind false walls for decades. The four abstract murals are now on permanent loan from the New York Housing Authority, and on display at the Brooklyn Museum. This study, signed by the artist's first wife (inverted from the final variation of the composition) shows both the hard-edge and biomorphic abstract forms employed by the artist at this point in his career.