Vivian Springford - New Now New York Wednesday, September 30, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Gary Snyder Fine Art, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Active on New York art scene during the reign of the New York School, Vivian Springford balanced burgeoning success and her reclusive nature as she exhibited at venerable galleries such as the Great Jones Gallery, the Preston gallery, Women in the Arts. Springford, however, eventually retreated from the public eye as she faced mascular degeneration, working instead in isolation in her Manhattan apartment until her death in 2003 at the age of 90, creating a trove of exotic abstractions inspired by the artist’s travels discovered decades later and just now garnering the attention they deserve. In 2018, a wider audience was introduced to the work through Almine Rech Gallery’s inaugural exhibition of the artist’s work in New York, which coincided with the announcement of their representation of the artist’s estate. Martinique Series, executed 1972-1973, is a characteristic example of the artist’s creative output during this mature stage of her career. Its translucent clouds of pigment, whose incredible lightness is achieved using a soak-stain technique not unlike that of fellow New York artist Helen Frankenthaler, entrance the viewer and invite them into a meditative serenity. With more international exhibitions of her work on the horizon, Springford’s place in the canon of postwar abstract painting is certainly being sealed.

  • Artist Biography

    Vivian Springford

    Vivian Springford (b. 1913-2003) is associated with the Abstract Expressionist and Color Field movements of the 1950s-1970s in the United States. Springford retreated from public life in the 1980s as she lost her eyesight due to macular degeneration. Springford shared a studio with Chinese-American artist and poet Walasse Ting for nearly 10 years, and she would credit him with introducing her to Chinese calligraphy —a major influence on her early work. Her abstract style transformed over her career from gestural drip paintings to canvases stained with watery pools of color that call to mind fellow AbEx artists like Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis.

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Martinique Series

signed, titled and dated "Vivian Springford 'Martinique Series' 1972-73" on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
86 1/8 x 88 1/2 in. (218.8 x 224.8 cm)
Painted in 1972-73.

$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $106,250

Contact Specialist

Sam Mansour
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1219

New Now

New York Auction 30 September 2020