Oct 08, 2009 - Sale 2189

Sale 2189 - Lot 10

Price Realized: $ 26,400
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
Untitled (Standing Young Girl).

Stoneware with yellow glaze, circa 1927. 405x105x85 mm; 16x4x3 inches. Signed in the hollow interior, just inside the base.

Provenance: private collection, California.

An early and very scarce sculpture, this stoneware shows the artist's diverse influences which were unique to San Francisco during the 1920s. We know of only a few other early works by Sargent Johnson glazed with color--the green head of the Asian girl Elizabeth Gee and the blue Untitled (Head of a Youth), both from 1927. In the 1998 exhibition catalogue, Dr. LeFalle-Collins notes how this medium was a very modern choice--"by conflating an elite genre--portraiture--with a commercial or 'decorative' medium--glazed stoneware--Johnson closed the gap between art and object." Aside from the medium, this standing figure, however, is quite different from his portraiture. Showing the influence of the Harlem Renaissance, it is decorative and elegantly stylized in a manner closer to Meta Warrick Fuller's Ethiopia Awakening, 1915-22. This is only the second glazed stoneware work by Sargent Johnson to come to auction.