Apr 06, 2017 - Sale 2442

Sale 2442 - Lot 47

Price Realized: $ 13,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 7,000 - $ 10,000
WILLIAM E. ARTIS (1914 - 1977)
Mosaic in Oil.

Oil on board, circa 1959. 457x1219 mm; 18x48 inches. With a typed paper label on the verso, which reads "ARTIST William Artis, TITLE Mosiac in Oil, TOWN Chadron, Nebraska."

Provenance: private collection, Michigan.

This striking mid-century abstraction is the first painting in oil by the artist we have located. According to an article on the artist's Chadron roots by George Ledbetter, William Artis moved to the Mid-West in the early 1950s to teach art and to study the Sioux Indian culture - he taught at the Holy Rosary (now Red Cloud) School on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, where he supervised a pottery production project for two years. Then he joined the Chadron State College faculty as an assistant instructor in 1954. Artis was a professor of sculpture and ceramics at Chadron State College until 1965. According to Ledbetter, "Chadron encompassed other media as well, and generated some controversy in 1959, when a large, brightly colored mural in a modernistic style, created as part of his study for a doctoral degree, was installed in the foyer of Memorial Hall. Artis defended the piece as symbolic of man's reaction to his environment, however, the piece remained in place for some 25 years before it was removed during a 1984 remodeling." There is also an abstract mosaic in tile in the college's William Artis Collection of twenty five art works.