Jan 25, 2024 - Sale 2657

Sale 2657 - Lot 124

Price Realized: $ 7,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 12,000 - $ 18,000


Silvermine, Colorado.
Watercolor, ink, and pencil on paper, C. 1932. Signed, Benton, lower right. 229x298 mm; 9x11¾ inches.

Provenance: Dalzell Hatfield Galleries, Los Angeles, CA; Private collection, NY.

Benton was already seen as a leader in the Regionalists movement and a celebrated muralist by the time the WPA started the Federal Arts Program. He had been commissioned to paint murals of life in Indiana for the 1933 Century of Progress Exhibition in Chicago, which caused controversy. In 1934, his work was featured on the cover on Time magazine, which legitimized Regionalism as an art movement. His murals were influential for many of the artists hired as muralists under the WPA. This watercolor holds the instantly recognizable compositional structure of so many of Benton's works. The viewer's eyes are carried throughout the image with a sense of motion conveyed through flowing lines. This energy can also be seen in the prints and later abstract "drip" paintings of Benton's most famous student's compositions, Jackson Pollock.