Cowering Nude With Robot

Artist:Mahlon Blaine
Date:1939
Medium:Gouache on Illustration Board
Dimensions:Sight Size 12" x 16" Framed 19 1/12" x 24"
Condition:Mint
Original Use:Proposed mural design for Paul MacAlister
Price:$5500.00

Full view of gouache painting

The artist's initial lower left for G. Christopher Hudson

The sixth of ten 1939 mural designs by Mahlon Blaine, which were intended to become murals for the studio or showroom of noted New York City industrial designer Paul MacAlister. A vacuum tube headed, praying mantis-like robot battles a cowering nude goddess in the ongoing saga of the menace of industry. As in many of the images from this series, the buildings of New York City have come alive beneath this serpent tailed goddess, and she sits atop masonry faces looking out with wrecking ball eyes. An inspired visionary artwork in a red, white, and blue apocalyptic Americana color palette. Marked on verso design #6, this comes beautifully matted and framed from the estate of Paul Ritter MacAlister.

Detail

Framed and matted behind glass in handsome gallery frame

Frame corner profile

Under the pseudonym G. Christopher Hudson, Mahlon Blaine created a series of illustrations which were intended to become murals for the studio or showroom of noted New York City interior designer Paul MacAlister. Offering a dark and pessimistically erotic commentary on the skyscraper landscape that was taking over Manhattan, it's unclear if Blaine and MacAlister believed these murals would ever be approved, or if the preliminary artworks were exclusively created as an oblique social satire. Blaine treated each individual painting in the series as its own completed stand alone artwork, with painstaking detail and inspired yet terrifying imagery. The series was Blaine's last commission for some time--the following year Blaine entered psychiatric care and dropped completely out of the public eye for the better part of a decade. We are offering the complete series of ten original concept paintings, each an impressionistic story of a nude underworld goddess engaged in the horrific industry of the machine age.

These are some of the most detailed and colorful works that have emerged by the artist to date. Though, it's hard to imagine that even Blaine could foresee these images becoming part of the midtown Manhattan cityscape, the project gained at least some traction, and MacAlister created a 1:12 scale miniature room with his rough tempura sketches of the Blaine's proposed murals featured in diorama.

Miniature room created by Paul MacAllister with rough sketches of Blaine mural works



 

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