Elba Damast - Latin America New York Tuesday, May 26, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Collection of the artist
    By descent to the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, El Museo del Barrio, Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, June 12, 2012 – January 6, 2013

  • Catalogue Essay

    Elba Damast began her artistic career in Venezuela, continued her work in Paris and eventually settled in New York City. While in Europe, she travelled extensively and visited museums throughout Belgium, Holland, Germany and Italy, absorbing the techniques and conceptual framework of the Surrealist movement. Her life work was deeply influenced by the artists Matta, Wifredo Lam, Leonor Fini and André Breton, amongst others. Damast returned briefly to Venezuela where she held several solo exhibitions, after which she moved to New York. There she worked arduously to insert herself into the avant-garde art scene of the time. Damast has been described as “action painter” who - much like Pollock and de Kooning - felt the pull and power of the city of New York so vividly. A stunning colorist with an incredibly varied palette of clear, vibrant colors, Damast expressed a sensation of power through color. At the same time, surface and texture were a constant concern of hers, demonstrating the influence of Matta, as seen in the present lot. As Damast herself expressed it, “I’m reminded of Matta’s marvelously mottled surfaces but only in a moment’s searching for aesthetic kin.” We must not forget that her most formative period was experienced during a moment in New York when Matta was at the forefront of Surrealism and there was simultaneously the increasing development of Abstract Expressionism, as well as a consolidation of American leadership in artistic innovation. The present lot constitutes an extraordinary example of Damast’s work emphasizing her investigation into the complex nature of color, texture and form.



acrylic on canvas
16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm)
Signed "Elba Damast 73" lower center.

$7,000 - 9,000 

Sold for $7,500

Contact Specialist
Kaeli Deane
Head of Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1352

Latin America

New York 26 May 2015 4pm