DescriptionBROR ALEXANDER UTTER (American, 1913-1993)
Still Life with Roses, Apples, and Plums
Oil on board
18 x 22 inches (45.7 x 55.9 cm)
Signed lower right: Utter
Still Life with Roses, Apples, and Plums was painted by Utter circa 1950. This exceptional picture represents a unique amalgamation of varying modernist influences, especially those of Henri Matisse and Paul Cezanne. With its treatment of the green apples with accents of a bright orange, and the fact that the objects in the composition are all viewed as if from different angles, this painting is reminiscent of Cezanne's many still lifes with fruit. The bright pink roses, however, created with curved and flowing lines, have a lovely decorative effect reminiscent of Henri Matisse. Despite these references to French modernists, Utter's distinctive style is still recognizable in the fine draftsmanship and use of interesting color. In addition, one of his favorite subjects besides niches and arches, were vessels like the goblet. Therefore, it is no surprise to see it carefully rendered as a focal point of the composition. Still Life with Roses, Apples, and Plums is an impressive piece of Texas Modernism.
Bror Utter was born in Fort Worth and studied under Sallie Gillespie as a teenager. While working in his father's lithograph plant in the 1930s, he studied under Wade Jolly at the Fort Worth School of Fine Arts. In 1940, he attended the Colorado Fine Arts Center. Utter taught at numerous Fort Worth institutions, including the Fort Worth Art Center and Texas Wesleyan College, while working as a full-time painter. Bror Utter's work has been extensively exhibited in the United States at institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Art and is in the collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Denver Art Museum. According to one newspaper clipping, "two things chiefly distinguish Utter's work. One is his sophisticated way with color and texture. The other is his ability to discover extraordinary things in ordinary forms and express his discoveries with grace and wit."
Estimate: $6,000 - $9,000.
Board buckled, particularly in lower left and central regions; minor semicircular accretion in upper left corner and 1" linear accretion in tablecloth of bottom left quadrant; slight paint loss in brown background along upper right edge; otherwise good condition.
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