From a recent east coast estate auction, Grapefruit Moon Gallery is delighted to have acquired a previously unseen collection of American Impressionist oil paintings dating to the 1940s and executed in a WPA, Regionalist, and often times stark Ashcan School design aesthetic. These are the work of the important American photo-journalist Alfred Statler, who was active in New York City from the post-war era until the 1970s. His name is most often associated with the booming modern art scene of the 1950s and 1960s, and in particular with Andy Warhol’s early gallery exhibitions. Along with his work on assignment for publications like Time magazine, Statler was an exhibited fine art photographer, drawn to the bustling street scenes of New York. This interest in the life of the city is on display both in this painting and others we will be offering.
Statler began his art career as a student of Fernand Léger, the cubist master, and these early works exhibit both the influence of cubism and America’s WPA movement. Many of these paintings, such as this example capture the urban eccentricities of life in New York City, with pronounced industrial machine age imagery.
An above ground subway swerving above an abstracted concrete landscape is captured in this oil on board, the dramatic impasto technique is impressive and haunting and the color palette vibrant and arresting- everything we love about American art of this period. The painting has been cleaned and is housed in a handsome gallery frame and signed by the artist on the verso.