Feb 17, 2011 - Sale 2237

Sale 2237 - Lot 34

Price Realized: $ 43,200
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 30,000 - $ 50,000
NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979)

Oil on canvas, 1948. 1016x635 mm; 25x54 inches. Signed in oil, lower right recto. Titled in ink on the upper stretcher bar, verso.

Provenance: the artist, New York; Sibley Smith, Sr., Wakefield, RI; thence by descent to a private collection. Sibley Smith, Sr. was an artist who showed at Willard Gallery; he also acquired other artworks from Willard Gallery artists in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Exhibited: Willard Gallery, New York, March 1 - 26, 1949, with a partial gallery label with the typed description and inventory number. This painting was one of 15 exhibited in the artist's first solo exhibition at Willard Gallery.

Crossing is a significant, early abstract painting closely related to Norman Lewis's well-known jazz paintings of that year. Exhibited together in his first solo exhibition, Crossing shares the same muted palette of tans, grays, greens and blues as the Jazz Musicians of 1948 in the collection of Dr. Harmon and Harriet Kelley, San Antonio. It also has the same suggestion of Cubist figures in its outlines as the Bassist from 1946, and his second Jazz Musicians, also of 1948. Many of the other paintings from this important first exhibition are now in museum collections, including Metropolitan Crowd, 1946, in the Delaware Art Museum, Twilight Sounds, 1947, in the St. Louis Art Museum and Cantata, 1948, in the Dayton Art Institute. Lock/Murray pp. 107-108.