DescriptionWERNER DREWES (American, 1899-1985)
Street Scene, Paris, 1929
Oil on canvas
18-1/8 x 13-1/8 inches (46.0 x 33.3 cm)
Signed with monogram and dated lower left and verso: 2 WD 9
Signed and titled on stretcher verso: Drewes / Street Scene, Paris / W. Drewes
PROPERTY FROM THE KING COLLECTION, TEXAS
Heritage Auctions, Dallas, May 8, 2008, lot 33190;
Acquired by the present owner from the above.
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, no. 87.
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. 210-11, no. 87, illustrated.
Werner Drewes' strong Modernist roots evolved at the Bauhaus in Germany under the tutelage of modern masters Lyonel Feininger, Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. Painted in 1929 while on leave from the Bauhaus, Street Scene, Paris reflects the style and technique of Bauhaus instructor Lyonel Fei
Drewes immigrated with his family to the United States from Germany in 1930, where he continued to work simultaneously in representational and abstract styles. The following year, he met Katherine Dreier, co-founder of the Societé Anonyme, through Kandinsky. The introduction proved to be fruitful, resulting in the first of several exhibitions with the Societé. In 1936, Drewes became a founding member--along with Josef Albers, Burgoyne Diller, David Smith, Vaclav Vytlacil and others--of the American Abstract Artists, the revolutionary group of artists who played a pivotal role in the evolution and acceptance of non-objective art in the United States.
Street Scene, Paris, painted in 1929 while Drewes attended the Bauhaus, reflects his representational style and the significant influence of his teacher and friend Feininger. He painted this work on unprimed canvas, allowing small areas of the exposed canvas to act as borders and margins. In a letter from Kandinsky written in 1932 and now in the Archives of American Art, Kandinsky compliments Drewes on his frequent practice of painting thinly and "allowing the wood grained panel to suggest the organic movement of ocean in the sea-green foreground."
Unlined canvas; minor surface grime; spots of faint craquelure in thicker paint layers; stable surface; under UV exam, there appears to be inpainting in the upper left and upper right negative space, along the edges of the upper center white shape; flecks of crack-fill inpainting in building facades, an approx. 1 x 2 inch upside down L-shape to the left of the small upper window, a line along the shaded side of the building (gray rectangle) at center right, and inpainting in the rectangular shape along the railway in the lower right quadrant. 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. Framed Dimensions 24.5 X 19.25 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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