Jun 30, 2022 - Sale 2611

Sale 2611 - Lot 169

Price Realized: $ 2,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
Woman Bathing.

Crayon on thick cream wove paper, 1920-28. 302x210 mm; 11 7/8x8 3/8 inches. Signed in pencil, lower left recto.

Provenance: Downtown Gallery, New York.

Property of The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Sold to benefit the Acquisitions Fund (190.1940).

Exhibited: "New Acquisitions: American Drawings, Gift of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr." Museum of Modern Art, New York, February 18-March 15, 1942.

Matulka (1890-1972), alongside Stuart Davis and Max Weber, was one of the proponents of the nascent American Cubism style. He was born in Czechoslovakia and studied fine art in Prague before immigrating to the United States in 1907. He enrolled at the National Academy of Design and in 1917 won the Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship, which he used to fund trips to the American southwest and Europe. Works from his time in Europe reflect influences by Paul Cézanne and early Cubism, striking a balance between realism and geometric abstraction. Later in his career, Matulka would explore Surrealism and Expressionism. During the Great Depression, Matulka worked for the WPA's Federal Art Project and supported himself by teaching at the Art Student's League (instructing students such as Burgoyne Diller, Dorothy Dehner and David Smith). Matulka brought different elements of European Modernism to the United States and to his students, though this style fell out of favor in light of the new American Scene style and socially inspired themes. Like Edward Hopper and many of their contemporaries, Matulka exhibited with the Whitney Studio Club in New York during the 1920s.