Fritz Bultman - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Wednesday, November 14, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Mr. and Mrs. Fritz Bultman
    Martha Jackson Gallery, New York
    Gallery Schlesinger Limited, New York
    Edelman Arts, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, Martha Jackson Gallery, Fritz Bultman Paintings - 1958, January 27 - February 21, 1959
    New Orleans, Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, Fritz Bultman, 1959-1960
    New York, Gallery Schlesinger Limited, Instinct and Sensuality, April 28 - May 26, 1990, no. 6 (titled Rosa Park)
    New Orleans Museum of Art, Greenville County Museum; Roanoke, Art Museum of Western Virginia; Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Fritz Bultman: A Retrospective, August 7, 1993 - October 30, 1994, no. 16, pp. 16, 48 (illustrated, titled Rosa Park, p. 48)
    New York, Edelman Arts, Fritz Bultman: The Missing Irascible, April 3 - May 11, 2013, n.p. (illustrated, cover, titled Rosa Park)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rosa Park - The Nurses of the Afternoon, 1958 expertly showcases the skillfully expressive compositions by Abstract Expressionist artist Fritz Bultman. First shown in the artist’s debut solo exhibition at the legendary Martha Jackson Gallery, New York in 1959, the extensive exhibition history of the present work is testament to its importance within the artist’s oeuvre. A key member of the group of artists known as “The Irascibles”, Bultman was integral in ushering in a new movement celebrating non-figurative art by writing a letter with the other members of the group to protest the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s indifference to the genre. This revolt was consequently publicized with a photograph of the group in a 1951 edition of Life magazine, from which Bultman is ironically missing and which subsequently led to the fame of the Abstract Expressionists.

    Inspired by artists such as Hans Hoffman and Robert Motherwell, the present lot exemplifies Bultman’s rough utilization of materials and thick application of paint to create stunning texture and drama. Rosa Park - The Nurses of the Afternoon is a stellar display of the artist’s desire to combine nature and form as it illustrates a vibrant abstraction of Rosa Park, a scenic neighborhood from Bultman’s hometown in New Orleans. Upon his early introduction to art, Bultman was fascinated by nature’s ability to create magnificent color combinations and thus elected to intertwine rich hues of yellow, white and his iconic crimson throughout the canvas to depict his view of a familiar afternoon horizon. As April Kingsley espoused in her introduction to the exhibition catalogue for Bultman’s 1993 retrospective at the New Orleans Museum of Art, “For Bultman the color red was fire, torn flesh, blood, and possible tropical flowers. Red may also have signified the heat of passion, in anger, in love, or in the act of creation” (April Kingsley, quoted in Fritz Bultman: A Retrospective, exh. cat., New Orleans Museum of Art, 1993, p. 16). When experiencing this work, the immediacy of each brushstroke and abstracted nature of the composition encourages viewers to question the inspiration behind its creation. The intensity of gesture and pigment in Rosa Park - The Nurses of the Afternoon reflect Bultman’s intimacy with and artful handling of nature in his work and his desire to alter the rigid expectations of art.


Rosa Park - The Nurses of the Afternoon

signed, titled and dated "FRITZ BULTMAN 1958 - AUG ROSA PARK - THE NURSES OF THE AFTERNOON" on the reverse
oil on canvas
72 x 108 in. (182.9 x 274.3 cm.)
Painted in 1958.

$30,000 - 40,000 

Sold for $43,750

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