DescriptionWilliam Lewis Lester (American, 1910-1991)
Oil on masonite
36 x 29-1/2 inches (91.4 x 74.9 cm)
Signed, titled, and dated verso: Porch / Wm. Lester / 1950
Private Collection, Houston.
In 1910, William Lewis Lester was born in Graham, Texas and studied at the Dallas Art Institute with important Texas regional artists like Olin Travis. There he joined a group of young, innovative Texas Regionalists and Modernists, including Alexandre Hogue, Jerry Bywaters, and Otis Dozier. Eventually, this group would become known as the Dallas Nine, and make Dallas one of the most dynamic centers of American Regionalism during the 1930s and 1940s. These artists eschewed the traditional subjects and styles of early Texas Impressionism, found in the work of artists like Julian Onderdonk. Instead, they embraced a modernist approach, using vivid colors, strong compositions, and increasingly abstract forms to convey their subjective ideas and feelings toward a particular subject. The results were captivating, often surrealistic works.
Porch is a classic example of Texas Regionalism at its best. It is a surrealistic, architectural dreamscape which is both compelling and somewhat disquieting. In Porch, Lester brilliantly conveys his personal inner-vision, creating a sophisticated painting which evokes the poverty, isolation, uncertainty, and decay found in many rural Texas towns during the 1940s. His work can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the American Embassy in Paris.
There appears to be light overall surface grime and a few possible stray surface scratches; work remains in good overall condition. Framed Dimensions 38.5 X 31.5 Inches
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