Saturday, July 16, 2011

ACQUISITION: "City Night" by Norman Lewis / Museum of Modern Art / New York

Norman Lewis, City Night,1949. Oil on wood, 24 x 18".
Museum of Modern Art, NY. Gift of Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis.
On June 24, 2010, the abstract oil painting City Night by Norman Lewis was sold for $15,000 in an auction titled "Out of the Blue: Modern Art & Jazz" at Swann Galleries. (Sale 2219, Lot 16) The painting was acquired at auction by the Museum of Modern Art, New York with funds provided by Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis and included in their exhibit Abstract Expressionist New York

City Night description from MoMA:

Lewis’s paintings, like those of many Abstract Expressionists, straddle the boundary between abstraction and figuration. The predominantly dark palette of this work evokes the nocturnal cityscape of the title; the delicate lines that crisscross the surface have been interpreted as laundry or power lines. In City Night Lewis has transformed this quotidian subject matter into an atmospheric and luminous abstraction. “The elements of painting constitute a language in themselves,” the artist wrote in 1949; the dynamic interplay of light and dark in City Night demonstrates his deft control over the medium.

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