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    Sale 2255 | Lot 65
    Price Realized: $102,000With Buyer's Premium
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    • Sale 2255 Lot 65

      HUGHIE LEE-SMITH (1915 - 1999)
      Desert Forms.

      Oil on masonite, 1957. 457x601mm; 18x24 inches. Incised signature and date, upper right.

      Provenance: private collection, Detroit; thence by descent to the current owner, private Connecticut collection. The painting was acquired shortly after it was painted, as it was purchased at the Detroit Artists Market on January 24, 1957. The original owner's purchase of the painting is described in a January 25, 1957 article of The Detroit News, marking the gallery's silver anniversary.

      Desert Forms is an excellent example of the height of Hughie Lee-Smith's mid-career painting. It epitomizes his 1950s exploration of a modern, existential landscape inhabited by isolated figures. In this fascinating scene, Lee-Smith displays his refined form of Surrealism with a mysterious cloaked woman and a de Chirico-like tower. 1957 was an important year in both the development of the artist's oeuvre and his career. Later that year, after winning the prestigious Emily Lowe award, Lee-Smith left Detroit for New York City. He signed on with Petitte Gallery and later Janet Nassler Gallery. Other well known works from this key year are Stranger in the collection of the National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC, Woman by the Seashore in the Grant Hill Collection of African-American Art, and Untitled (Rooftop View), purchased from Swann Galleries on February 17, 2008 by the Cleveland Museum of Art.

      Estimate $50,000 - 75,000

      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $102,000