May 20, 2021 - Sale 2569

Sale 2569 - Lot 52

Price Realized: $ 9,375
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 7,000 - $ 9,000
What the Wind Does, (Still Life, Fire Island).

Oil on masonite, 1947. 762x609 mm; 30x24 inches. Signed, in Greek lettering, and inscribed as titled, on verso.

Provenance: Private Collection, NY; [Christie's, New York, First Open / Post-War and Contemporary Art, December 7 - 14, 2017, lot 162]; Private Collection, NY.

Artists angered by what they saw as a bias of juror selection for a pending exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, wrote an open letter to the museum president, Roland L. Redmond, stating their grievances. The letter was penned by Adolph Gottlieb, and signed by many, including Jimmy Ernst, Theodoros Stamos, Ibram Lassaw, and Robert Motherwell. Barnett Newman delivered the letter to the New York Times, and it appeared on the front page Monday, May 22, 1950. This rebellious act by a handful of artists caused such a stir, Life magazine published a follow-up article complete with a black and white image of some of the artists, captioned The Irascibles.

Several of the New York School artists, such as Stamos, Mark Rothko, William Baziotes, and Hard Edge painter, Nassos Daphnis had a period of exploring abstracted organic forms. Theodoros Stamos painted many works utilizing sea forms as a basis for his abstractions. These root sources for inspiration are reminiscent of Wassily Kandinsky's biomorphic period, inspired by his introduction to microscopic images of life forms.