June 3, 2018 14:00 EST

American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists

 
  Lot 76
 

76

ANDREW WYETH (AMERICAN 1917–2009)
"STUDY FOR BARRACOON I"

Pencil signed 'Andrew Wyeth' bottom right, pencil on paper
Sheet size:17 7/8 x 23 7/8 in. (45.4 x 60.6cm)
together with:
"STUDY FOR BARRACOON II"
Pencil signed 'A. Wyeth' bottom right, pencil on paper
Sheet size: 17 15/16 x 24 in. (45.6 x 61cm)
(2)

Provenance: The Artist.
Acquired directly from the above.
Collection of Leonard E.B. Andrew, Malvern, Pennsylvania, 1986.
Private Collection, Tokyo, Japan, 1989.
With Frank E. Fowler, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.
Acquired directly from the above in 2006.
Private Collection, New Jersey.
EXHIBITED:
"Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures," National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., May 24-September 27, 1987 (traveling exhibition), nos. 81 and 82.
"A Collector's Passion: Three Generations of Wyeth Art, 1938-2004," Pollak Gallery, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey, March 19-21, 2007.
"Andrew Wyeth: A Survey," Goodwin Fine Art, Denver, Colorado, October 30-November 20, 2015.
LITERATURE:
John Wilmerding, Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures, Harry N. Abrams, New York, New York, 1987, p. 112, no. 127 and 128 (both illustrated).
Joyce Hill Stoner, A Collector's Passion: Three Generations of Wyeth Art, 1938-2004, West Long Branch, New Jersey, 2007.
NOTE:
The present pair is a set of two drawings from a suite of over thirty-five works executed over the course of fifteen years. While they are considered studies for the seminal painting, "Barracoon," they are quite significant in that many of them are very much refined, polished, finished works in their own right. The title of the works comes from the term used to describe the prison in which slaves were shown before being sold. Here again, the subject of the suite is Helga Testorf. In the final painting however, Wyeth hid the identity of his model by depicting her as an African American. The bodily elements in the painting are in fact an amalgamation of the Wyeth family's maid, Betty Hammond, as well as Helga and Wyeth himself. This modern interpretation of the classic odalisque harkens back to the time-honored tradition of the reclining female nude within the art historical canon. The sensual nature of the female nude in two different recumbent positions is at once sumptuous and melancholic. In Thomas Hoving's autobiography on the artist, Wyeth referred to the painting as his "best nude" (1995, p. 108), and these studies reflect the importance of the painting, as well as their own great worth within the artist's body of work.

Sold for $15,000
Estimated at $20,000 - $30,000


 

Pencil signed 'Andrew Wyeth' bottom right, pencil on paper
Sheet size:17 7/8 x 23 7/8 in. (45.4 x 60.6cm)
together with:
"STUDY FOR BARRACOON II"
Pencil signed 'A. Wyeth' bottom right, pencil on paper
Sheet size: 17 15/16 x 24 in. (45.6 x 61cm)
(2)

Provenance: The Artist.
Acquired directly from the above.
Collection of Leonard E.B. Andrew, Malvern, Pennsylvania, 1986.
Private Collection, Tokyo, Japan, 1989.
With Frank E. Fowler, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.
Acquired directly from the above in 2006.
Private Collection, New Jersey.
EXHIBITED:
"Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures," National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., May 24-September 27, 1987 (traveling exhibition), nos. 81 and 82.
"A Collector's Passion: Three Generations of Wyeth Art, 1938-2004," Pollak Gallery, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey, March 19-21, 2007.
"Andrew Wyeth: A Survey," Goodwin Fine Art, Denver, Colorado, October 30-November 20, 2015.
LITERATURE:
John Wilmerding, Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures, Harry N. Abrams, New York, New York, 1987, p. 112, no. 127 and 128 (both illustrated).
Joyce Hill Stoner, A Collector's Passion: Three Generations of Wyeth Art, 1938-2004, West Long Branch, New Jersey, 2007.
NOTE:
The present pair is a set of two drawings from a suite of over thirty-five works executed over the course of fifteen years. While they are considered studies for the seminal painting, "Barracoon," they are quite significant in that many of them are very much refined, polished, finished works in their own right. The title of the works comes from the term used to describe the prison in which slaves were shown before being sold. Here again, the subject of the suite is Helga Testorf. In the final painting however, Wyeth hid the identity of his model by depicting her as an African American. The bodily elements in the painting are in fact an amalgamation of the Wyeth family's maid, Betty Hammond, as well as Helga and Wyeth himself. This modern interpretation of the classic odalisque harkens back to the time-honored tradition of the reclining female nude within the art historical canon. The sensual nature of the female nude in two different recumbent positions is at once sumptuous and melancholic. In Thomas Hoving's autobiography on the artist, Wyeth referred to the painting as his "best nude" (1995, p. 108), and these studies reflect the importance of the painting, as well as their own great worth within the artist's body of work.

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