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Estimate: $ 7,000 - $ 10,000
MERTON SIMPSON (1928 - 2013 ) Night Village.
Oil on linen canvas, circa 1956-1960. 610x762 mm; 24x30 inches. Signed in ink (faded), lower right recto. Titled in ink, verso.
Provenance: acquired directly from the artist, New York, with the artist's gallery label on the verso; private collection, New York.
Night Village is an excellent, early example of this artist's mid-century abstraction. In 1956, Merton Simpson was a young New York painter who had just completed his service in the Air Force, and whose career was on the rise. Two years earlier, Simpson had been included in a group exhibition at Bertha Schaefer Gallery, a watercolor exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the exhibition Younger American Painters at the Guggenheim Museum, all New York. The artist apparently painted other works in this series; another painting, oil on board, identified as Night Village was photographed by Carl Van Vechten in 1959. An image of this painting and portraits of the artist with other paintings are in Van Vechten's archives in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. By 1960, the artist had his first solo exhibition at the Krasner Gallery, New York.