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  • Provenance


    Private Collection

  • Catalogue Essay


    Tomlin seems to have been troubled by the vestiges of Cubism in his work,
    and toward the end of 1952, he purged as many of them as he could.
    I imagine that he believed that Cubist design was outworn and that he
    needed to risk the appearance of greater randomness and openness.
    Tomlin abbreviated the streamers of pigment into patches of color-a kind of
    magnified pointillism-no longer meshed into lattice like grids but scattered
    over the picture surface, like floating petals of flowers. At first glance, the
    shapes seem haphazard, lacking in focus. But the more one studies them,
    the more ‘...a whole series of weaving movements emerge,’ as John I. H.
    Baur remarked, ‘...the more apparent it becomes that every rectangle and
    circle has been placed with infinite calculation to create a subtler and more
    shimmering architecture than that of the boldly linear canvases.’ It is with
    difficulty that the term ‘abstract-expressionist’ is applied to Tomlin. He is
    primarlily a colorist and the subtlety of his paintings has caused certain
    critics to call him an artist whose style was primarily decorative. The subtlety
    of his works, however, often raises him to the level of a painter’s painter who
    achieves a great deal of refinement and sophistication although with
    perhaps, less immediate impact. Several critics have emphasized his
    eclecticism, yet he was certainly as original as many other members of the
    NewYork School and, according to his closest associates, really a quiet
    innovator from whom others borrowed.
    I. Sandler, Bradley Walker Tomlin: A Retrospective View, Buffalo, 1975, pp. 5-7

166

Untitled

ca. 1952

Oil on canvas.

16 x 20 1/8 in. (40.6 x 51.1 cm).

Signed “B.Tomlin” along the lower edge.

Estimate
$200,000 - 300,000 

Contemporary Art Part II

16 Nov 2007, 10am & 2pm
New York