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    Sale 2331 | Lot 65
    Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000
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    • Sale 2331 Lot 65

      Figures in a Landscape.

      Oil on canvas, 1960. 1240x1240 mm; 48 3/4x48 3/4 inches. Signed and dated, lower right recto. Purchased directly from the artist by the current owner, New York, 1961-62.

      LeWitt (1928-2007) was a pioneering figure in the establishment of Minimalism and Conceptualism during the postwar era. He studied art at Syracuse University, and after serving in the Korean War, moved to New York in 1953 to pursue cartooning and illustration. A stint as a graphic designer at the architectural office of I.M. Pei in 1955 was also extremely influential on Lewitt's development as an artist. Beginning his career during the decline of Abstract Impressionism, LeWitt was initially unfocused in his search for an artistic identity. This changed in 1960, when he quit his design job and was hired to work at the book counter at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. At the MoMA, he met fellow artists Robert Mangold and Dan Flavin, also searching for a new mode of expression unlike the overly-individualistic, gestural works of the AbEx movement. LeWitt's experience at the MoMA, his admiration of the early works of Jasper Johns, Frank Stella and Robert Rauschenberg at the MoMA's 1959, landmark "Sixteen Americans" exhibition and his interest in the photography of Eadweard Muybridge, active during the late 1880s, who serially assembled images of people and animals in motionm, all informed his early painting style. He completed a series of paintings during the early 1960s, interpretations of Muybridge's moving figures, rendered in thick oil paint; Figures in Landscape is undoubtedly one of these creations, quite distinct from his mature, geometric style.

      Estimate $30,000 - 50,000