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    Description

    Olin Travis (American, 1888-1975)
    Return of the Martyrs
    Oil on canvas
    25 x 44-1/4 inches (63.5 x 112.4 cm)
    Signed lower right: Olin Travis OT
    Signed and titled on the reverse: "Return of the / Martyrs / by OT / Olin Travis / H453

    PROVENANCE:
    Josephine Oliver Travis, wife of the artist;
    Jean and Joseph K. Oliver, brother of J.O. Travis, by inheritance.

    Born in Dallas, Olin Travis studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and after graduation, remained with the school as an instructor. In 1923, Travis moved back to Dallas, opening a studio. Three years later, he founded the Dallas Art Institute, where he would eventually teach such Texas artists as Everrett Spruce and William Lester. Over the years, Travis exhibited in local and national shows, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 1953, Travis was honored with a solo exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art entitled "50 Years of Painting in Dallas: A Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by Olin Travis." We are delighted to be offering four Olin Travis paintings from the artist's estate that highlight the artist's versatility and growth- from the impressionistic Spring Time in Canton, the more regionalist approach of Stream in Lower San Antone Valley and Old House at Glen Rose, Texas, to the refined modernism found in Return of the Martyrs.

    In Return of the Martyrs, Travis utilizes his considerable skills as a muralist to design the composition, in which bands of contained curvilinear forms build upon one another level by level. Each layer of this painting appears to contain its own abstract variations on the overall formal themes, but when viewed one upon the other they form a solidly constructed scene. This sense of structure creates an iconic and timeless quality harkening to religious processions by the old masters that allows Travis to utilize the figures to delve fully into abstract modernism. The Martyrs are purposefully faceless figures, expertly shaded into abstract rounded sculptures, revealing his regionalist roots. The sky is a softer combination of the curvilinear and organic elements. The clouds form soft curves with organic rhythms as the moon creates drama; it is unclear if the Martyrs are descending from the sky or walking towards the viewer with the sky reflecting in a body of water on either side. These formal elements coincide with the underlying subjective theme of this Modernist masterpiece - spiritual reflection.





    Condition Report*: Unlined canvas; minor surface grime and craquelure; small thin line - almost puncture - with loss at upper center in figures; under UV light, there appears to be inpaint along edges and small scattered spots, a few of which are faintly visible in raking light. Framed Dimensions 28.5 X 47.5 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. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. 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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2018
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,782

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