DescriptionFROM THE ESTATE OF DR. EDMUND P. PILLSBURY
KK KOZIK (American, b. 1961)
Happy Hour, 2000/2001
Oil on canvas
46 x 39-1/4 inches (116.8 x 99.7 cm)
Signed, titled and dated on the reverse
Acquired directly from the artist, October 2002
As well-known Houston gallerist Betty Moody, who was a good friend of Ted Pillsbury's, pointed out in recent conversation with Heritage: "Ted really loved narrative art. He just loved Julie Speed's paintings. He loved Terry Allen's work, with all its stories, the songwriting, the poetry. Ted had such a broad knowledge of art history that he could immediately spot the influences on contemporary artists who were involved with narrative. He loved talking with them, finding out everything he could about their work once he became interested in it. And he really was a very, very good writer. He always placed a contemporary work of art in its historical context. Not many can do that, make sense of the new work in terms of the stories it relates to. He knew the old stories that the new stories drew from. Ted was a very smart man."
This urban painting by emerging artist KK Kozik most certainly caught Ted's eye, in part, on account of its narrative. The title, Happy Hour, of course gives a clue to its subject in the event one misses the wonderful languid, feminine arm extending out the window of an apartment building where its owner is enjoying a cigarette! Kozik, who studied at the University of Virginia and Syracuse University, is a self-described narrative painter but not a realist. She says she paints "personal havens where people create private retreats out of existing spaces with what they've already got." Stylistically she says her paintings reflect a union of two popular art movements, Ashcan and Rococo, embracing the urbanism of one and the pastoral ideals of the other.
In recent correspondence with Heritage, KK Kozik recalls, "Ted was brought to my Brooklyn studio by Ruth Kaufmann, an eminent art consultant (she helped major collector Thomas Ammann build his collection). We looked at a lot of work in the studio but this one was special because it was sort of light and you could feel the sun and air and mood of the figure. I don't remember much of what he said, but Ruth pointed out that it was rhythmic, maybe an echoing of forms in the clouds smoke and vines. It was always one of my favorites and I was glad to get it in Ted's collection but regretted that it never had been exhibited because I thought it was such a good painting. It was inspired by a scene I saw in my Brooklyn garden, a neighbor invisible except for an arm in the window in the sun. I just looked up and it was perfect painting ready to go. I later painted a second version."
Estimate: $3,000 - $4,000.
In very good condition, unframed
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