November 17, 2020 12:00 EDT

Modern & Contemporary Art

 
 
Lot 18 - Clyfford Still (American, 1904-1980)

18

Clyfford Still (American, 1904-1980)
PH-491

Signed and dated 1943 bottom right, inscribed 'PH-491' and dated verso, oil on paper.
20 x 13 in. (50.8 x 33cm)
Unframed.

Provenance: Collection of Mrs. Patricia A. Still.
Private Collection, Maryland (gifted directly from the above circa 1998).

NOTE:
This lot is accompanied by a letter of gift signed by Mrs. Patricia A. Still.

Prominent Abstract Expressionist painter, Clyfford Still spent his entire artistic career drawing and experimenting with different printing techniques, in addition to producing the large-scale oil paintings for which he is best known. His drawings held a particularly personal and privileged position for Still, and were only shown twice in exhibition during his lifetime; he once called his pastel drawings "a visual diary of a personal world." [1] Rather than sketches for larger paintings, Still's drawings constitute fully realized works in their own right, and provide a window into his working process.

PH-491 is one of nearly one hundred oils on paper from a prolific period of Still's life, while he held a professorship at the Richmond Professional Institute (now Virginia Commonwealth University). Not a formal "series," the works from this 1943-45 period display a diversity in composition, as the artist shifts back and forth between representational and abstract forms, leaving traces of the figure, landscape and nature as he experiments with abstraction. PH-491 shows Still's deliberate brushstrokes and extended undulating lines as he explored the interplay of paint and white space.

Still's drawings were meticulously archived and stored by the artist, and later by his widow Patricia Still, and many were eventually donated to the Clyfford Still Museum, which she helped found in Denver, Colorado before her death in 2005. The present work was a gift from Mrs. Still to her long-time attorney and his wife, jointly, as noted in her hand-written letter of gift.

[1] Clyfford Still, letter to Sidney Janis, 2 October 1978, Clyfford Still Museum Archives, quoted in Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper, Denver, CO: Clyfford Still Museum, 2016, p. 8.

Sold for $406,000
Estimated at $50,000 - $80,000


 

Signed and dated 1943 bottom right, inscribed 'PH-491' and dated verso, oil on paper.
20 x 13 in. (50.8 x 33cm)
Unframed.

Provenance: Collection of Mrs. Patricia A. Still.
Private Collection, Maryland (gifted directly from the above circa 1998).

NOTE:
This lot is accompanied by a letter of gift signed by Mrs. Patricia A. Still.

Prominent Abstract Expressionist painter, Clyfford Still spent his entire artistic career drawing and experimenting with different printing techniques, in addition to producing the large-scale oil paintings for which he is best known. His drawings held a particularly personal and privileged position for Still, and were only shown twice in exhibition during his lifetime; he once called his pastel drawings "a visual diary of a personal world." [1] Rather than sketches for larger paintings, Still's drawings constitute fully realized works in their own right, and provide a window into his working process.

PH-491 is one of nearly one hundred oils on paper from a prolific period of Still's life, while he held a professorship at the Richmond Professional Institute (now Virginia Commonwealth University). Not a formal "series," the works from this 1943-45 period display a diversity in composition, as the artist shifts back and forth between representational and abstract forms, leaving traces of the figure, landscape and nature as he experiments with abstraction. PH-491 shows Still's deliberate brushstrokes and extended undulating lines as he explored the interplay of paint and white space.

Still's drawings were meticulously archived and stored by the artist, and later by his widow Patricia Still, and many were eventually donated to the Clyfford Still Museum, which she helped found in Denver, Colorado before her death in 2005. The present work was a gift from Mrs. Still to her long-time attorney and his wife, jointly, as noted in her hand-written letter of gift.

[1] Clyfford Still, letter to Sidney Janis, 2 October 1978, Clyfford Still Museum Archives, quoted in Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper, Denver, CO: Clyfford Still Museum, 2016, p. 8.

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