Adolph Gottlieb - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Thursday, May 18, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Marlborough Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1972

  • Exhibited

    New York, Marlborough Gallery, Adolph Gottlieb: Paintings 1971-1972, November 1 - December 2, 1972, p. 28 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Adolph Gottlieb's painting Shadows from 1971 demonstrates the classic vernacular of the artist’s most recognizable series. Gottlieb’s Burst series would become one of the most iconic artistic motifs of modern, 20th century painting alongside Mark Rothko’s floating rectangles and Barnett Newman’s zip. Each of Gottlieb’s burst paintings revolves around a profoundly simplified arrangement of suspended orbs upon a clear background accented with spiraling brush strokes. Gottlieb first used this vast, horizontal format in 1960 allowing his minimal, graphic language to stretch across the picture plane; he explains, “I eliminated almost everything from my painting except a few colors and perhaps two or three shapes, I feel a necessity for making the particular colors that I use, or the particular shapes, carry the burden of everything that I want to express, and all has to be concentrated within these few elements.” (Adolph Gottlieb, "Selected Writings," The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Inc., online)

    Pulsating with extreme elemental vibrancy, the duo of red and orange bursts in the present work float just above a deeply black calligraphic script. The shifting and complex color palette of red, auburn, forest green, black and the underlying misty lavender reveal exceptional tonal layers. An essentially abstract landscape, Shadow has been in the same private collection for the past four decades, acquired from Gottlieb’s 1971 exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery in New York. Shadows stands as pristine masterpiece, one of painterly prowess and compositional brilliance, while simultaneously highlighting Gottlieb as a leader of Abstract Expressionism.




signed "Adolph Gottlieb" on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
48 x 60 in. (121.9 x 152.4 cm.)
Painted in 1971.

$500,000 - 700,000 

Sold for $1,030,000

Contact Specialist
Kate Bryan
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1267

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 18 May 2017