JULIA PEARL (American, 20th Century)
    Two Boys, 1950
    Oil on canvas
    30 x 36 inches (76.2 x 91.4 cm)
    Signed and dated in pencil on verso: Julia Pearl / February 3, 1950

    The Little Gallery, Newark, New Jersey (stamp on stretcher);
    Private collection, Dallas.

    We wish to thank the California artist Ivan Majdrakoff, Julia Pearl's former husband, for his gracious assistance in cataloguing this painting.

    Julia Pearl painted this sensitive portrait of boys riding piggyback in 1950, when she was a graduate student in her twenties at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Her early work reflects the figurative and social realist influence of Robert Gwathmey and Ben Shahn, particularly in its use of minimalist forms to convey complex human emotions. After Cranbrook, Julia returned to New York City and married her high school classmate, the fellow artist Ivan Majdrakoff. The couple was close friends of the avant-garde Beat poet Gerd Stern, with whom they continued to collaborate after moving to the California Bay Area: for Stern's 1952 First Poems and Others, Ivan did the illustrations and Julia, the calligraphy. In California, during the 1960s, Pearl abandoned figurative painting in favor of an organic abstraction. Sometime before her death (likely in the 1990s), Pearl destroyed her paintings, explaining why her work rarely appears on the market. Several of her abstractions are in private collections, but as a surviving early figurative work, Two Boys is an extraordinary discovery.

    Condition Report*:

    Original canvas with stable paint film; stretcher creasing along bottom edge; faint scattered craquelure; small, scattered, single paint chips (in upper left corner, along left edge, on roof, in wooden gate near lower right edge, and along upper right edge; faint abrasions on lower house; under UV examination, Framed Dimensions 31 X 37 Inches

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2013
    5th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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