Oil on canvas, 1960. 1120x990 mm; 49x39 inches. Signed and dated in oil, lower right recto. Titled in oil, verso on the upper stretcher bar.
Provenance: the artist; Judge and Mrs. Edward R. Dudley, New York; thence by descent to the current owner.
This attractive painting is a transitional oil for Norman Lewis--painted during the last year of what curator Ann Gibson describes as his "atmospheric" abstractions that he began in the early 1950s. Sunset #2 epitomizes this series of works on both canvas and paper that describe a natural environment or phenomenon--often weather, landscape or water. Lewis used a dry brush technique, dragging a loaded brush with little medium to make floating veils or layers of light and color. By 1960, Lewis had become better known for the new series of black "ritual" figure paintings, which were darker and more overtly political like Alabama, American Totem and Post Mortem. Gibson pp. 24-25.