Oct 09, 2014 - Sale 2359

Sale 2359 - Lot 86

Price Realized: $ 75,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 60,000 - $ 90,000
NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979)

Oil on heavy linen canvas, 1953. 991x1194 mm; 39x47 inches. Signed and dated in oil, lower right.

Provenance: Adrienne E. Wheeler, New York; private New York collection.

This beautiful painting is a very fine example of Norman Lewis's evolving Abstract Expressionist idiom in the early 1950s. This intriguing transitional work comes from a short period when the artist used a heavier oil paint application and an editing layer of white paint from 1953 to 1954. This paint has an organic, tactile qualilty as the skeins of paint accumulate across the heavy linen surface. Lewis only occasionally included magenta in his palette, but with great effect - as seen in his earlier 1947 Magenta Haze and 1952 Roseate Mist.

Lewis painted this painting in-between his fourth and fifth solo exhibitions at the Willard Gallery in 1952 and 1954. In the early 1950s, in addition to his solo exhibitions, Lewis achieved some public recognition for his contributions to abstraction. He was first included in the 1951 Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 1952, Lewis also achieved critical acclaim with positive reviews in the New York Herald-Tribune and Art News magazine.