Oct 07, 2021 - Sale 2581

Sale 2581 - Lot 22

Price Realized: $ 16,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 12,000 - $ 18,000
NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979)
Untitled (New York Park Crowd).

Watercolor, ink and gouache on cream wove paper, 1943. 356x508 mm; 14x20 inches. Signed and dated "7-21-43" in ink, lower left recto.

With an unfinished city scene in watercolor, pen and ink on the verso.

Provenance: private collection, Maryland.

This exceptional modernist watercolor by Norman Lewis shows his increasingly abstract approach to his city subjects. These two different locales depicted on each side of the sheet of paper are from Lewis's summer in New York. Ruth Fine wrote that in 1943 Lewis won a competition to design a war relief poster, and had a supervisory dock job working in Vancouver where he encountered fierce discrimination from workers. Upon returning to New York, he held a job tending to housing project lawns. Then in the fall, Norman Lewis began teaching painting at the new progressive George Washington Carver School in Harlem, where he joined an impressive staff, including Ernest Crichlow (painting), Charles White (drawing), and Elizabeth Catlett (sculpture). Lewis taught there through 1944. Fine p. 252.