DescriptionMARSDEN HARTLEY (American, 1878-1943)
Bowl with Fruit, 1919
Oil on canvas
13-7/8 x 25-3/4 inches (35.2 x 65.4 cm)
Signed and inscribed on stretcher: Bowl with Fruit Marsden Hartley
PROPERTY FROM THE KING COLLECTION, TEXAS
Ferdinand Howald, Columbus, Ohio, acquired from the above, April 1924;
[With] Alfred Stieglitz, New York;
Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Columbus, Ohio, gift from Ferdinand Howald, 1931;
Kennedy Galleries, Inc., New York, acquired from the above, June 3, 1980;
Sid Deutsch Art Gallery, New York;
Private collection, New Jersey, acquired from the above;
Pensler Galleries, Washington, D.C.;
Acquired by the present owner from the above, July 1999.
Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Columbus, Ohio, "Inaugural Exhibition," January-February 1931, no. 8;
University Galleries, University of California, Los Angeles, and elsewhere, "Marsden Hartley: Painter/Poet 1877-1943," November 20-December 20, 1968;
Wildenstein and Co., Inc., New York, "Ferdinand Howald, Avant-Garde Collector," May 19-July 3, 1970, no. 74;
The American Federation of Arts, New York, and elsewhere, "Sections from the Ferdinand Howald Collection: The Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts," September 1970-June 1972;
Cummer Gallery of Art, Jacksonville, Florida, January 2-31, 1971;
University of Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, Georgia, February 21-March 21, 1971;
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, April 11-May 9, 1971;
Milwaukee Art Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 30-June 27, 1971
Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio, "Marsden Hartley," September 17-October 23, 1972;
University of Texas Art Museum, Austin, Texas, n.d.;
El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, "Modern American Painting 1907-1936: The Maria and Barry King Collection," September 8, 2013-January 5, 2014.
"Marsden Hartley-Painter," Index of Twentieth Century Artists, vol. 3, New York, January 1936, p. 514, no. 4, illustrated;
University Galleries, University of California, Los Angeles, "Marsden Hartley: Painter/Poet 1877-1943," Los Angeles, California, 1968, no. 16;
M. Tucker, American Paintings in the Ferdinand Howald Collection, exhibition catalogue, Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Columbus, Ohio, 1969, p. 52, no. 74, illustrated;
The American Federation of Arts, "Sections from the Ferdinand Howald Collection: The Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts," New York, 1970, no. 27;
Wildenstein and Co., Inc., Ferdinand Howald, Avant-Garde Collector, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1970, p. 52, no. 74, illustrated;
M. Sharp Young, Early American Moderns: Painters of the Stieglitz Group, New York, 1974, pl. 29, illustrated;
P.S. Cable, Modern American Painting 1907-1936: The Maria and Barry King Collection, exhibition catalogue, El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, 2013, pp. 159-163, no. 65, illustrated.
"Long known as one of the foremost American painters of the first half of the twentieth century, Marsden Hartley synthesized a range of interests-the art of Cézanne, Matisse, Cubism, Expressionism, mysticism, among others-to create his own distinctive yet continuously evolving artistic voice. Born Edmund Hartley in Lewiston, Maine, the artist added his stepmother's maiden name as a middle name at the age of twenty-nine, and then dropped the 'Edmund' a few months after his thirtieth birthday. Although Hartley had no formal education outside of art after the age of sixteen, he read voraciously, and by his early twenties he was enamored of the Transcendental philosophy of Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman. While he felt at odds with life in his industrial hometown-struggling with the conflict between his internalized New England puritanism on the one hand and his homosexuality and philosophic leanings on the other-Hartley always loved Maine, where from 1900 on he regularly returned to paint in the summers. This feeling of being on the outside looking in would always characterize the artist; and, without reducing his accomplishments, it seems safe to say that Hartley's disappointments with reality encouraged him to sublimate his intense feelings into the love of life and nature that he so powerfully expressed in his art. In this respect Hartley's life struggles and artistic triumphs find a mutual bond with the modern European master Vincent Van Gogh.
"The still lifes...in Hartley's oeuvre...range from intensely allegorical arrangements like the artist's most famous work, a homosexually encoded still life of military regalia entitled Portrait of a German Officer, to the most simple motif and composition, such as three shells floating existentially against a dark abstract ground.
"...Bowl of Fruit was purchased by the modern collector Ferdinand Howald, either directly from the artist or from his staunch supporter the dealer Alfred Stieglitz. In 1931 Howard donated the work to the art museum of his native city, Columbus, Ohio, followed by the bequest of his core holdings to the same institution. Ironically, many years later in what can only be seen as a misguided act of deaccessioning, the museum sold Hartley's bold painting to enable the purchase of French Impressionist works.
"...Bowl of Fruit, through its broad brushwork, dark background, and affective distortion of crude tabletop, is...purely Expressionist; as we study the splaying of the three awkward gourds, it is tempting to think of them as an allusive self-portrait..." (P.S. Cable, Modern American Painting 1907-1936: The Maria and Barry King Collection, exhibition catalogue, El Paso, Texas, 2013, pp. 159-61).
Estimate: $100,000 - $150,000.
Canvas is lined. There is no apparent evidence of restoration under UV examination. This painting is framed using Optium (museum acrylic glazing), which provides clear legibility for examination with both white light and black light. In order to maintain the integrity and airtight sealing of the housing, the painting was not viewed out of the frame for the condition report. Should you wish to have a more extensive report, we recommend firsthand inspection by a professional conservator. For assistance, please contact the department.
*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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