Jazz on Easter Sunday

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection (acquired directly from the artist circa 1990)

  • Exhibited

    Copenhagen, American Art Gallery, 1961

  • Literature

    Sam Middleton: Images of Jazz, exh. cat., Museum Van Bommel Van Dam Venlo, 1997, p. 37 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    A born and bred New Yorker, Sam Middleton drew artistic energy for his stunning collages from the vibrant cultural scene of downtown New York. Executed in 1961, the present lot, titled Jazz on Easter Sunday, pulsates with a lyrical aesthetic, inspired by the Lower East Side jazz stars like Monk, Coltrane and Parker. Middleton captures the unique, offbeat and constantly changing pattern of sound within the confines of collage and dripping paint. Beneath the splashes and splatters of red, yellow, blue, white and black paint, the viewer can catch snippets of printed text. Disjointed and illegible, these mysterious words pop out haphazardly - the implosive nature of Middleton’s composition reads like the jazz music he so admired, catching a consistent beat and then unnervingly swinging back to apparent chaos, presenting constantly innovative artistic arrangements.


Jazz on Easter Sunday

signed and dated "MIDDLETON '61" lower right; further signed, titled and dated "MIDDLETON JAZZ ON EASTER SUNDAY 1961" on the reverse
collage and gouache on board
33 x 47 7/8 in. (83.8 x 121.6 cm.)
Executed in 1961.

$15,000 - 25,000 

sold for $17,500

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale Morning Session

New York Auction 14 November 2018