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Details
Walt Kuhn (1877-1949)
Amalgam
oil on canvas
34 x 40¼ in. (86.4 x 102.2 cm.)
Painted in 1926.
Provenance
The artist.
Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, Inc., New York.
Christie's, New York, 26 May 1999, lot 138.
Private collection.
Christie's, New York, 1 December 2010, lot 51.
Acquired by the present owner from the above.
Literature
Grand Central Art Galleries, Exhibition of Paintings by Walt Kuhn, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1927, p. 22, no. 11, illustrated.
P.R. Adams, Walt Kuhn, Painter: His Life and Work, Columbus, Ohio, 1978, pp. 102-03, 106, 108, 249, pl. 57, no. 163, illustrated.
Exhibited
New York, Grand Central Art Galleries, and elsewhere, Exhibition of Paintings by Walt Kuhn, January 20, 1927, no. 11.
Sale room notice
Please note this lot is being sold without a reserve.

Lot Essay

Painted in 1926, Amalgam was among thirty-seven paintings exhibited in Walt Kuhn's solo show at Grand Central Art Galleries in New York on January 20, 1927. Kuhn's brother-in-law, LaSalle Spier, a renowned composer and pianist at the time, authored the essay in the exhibition catalogue that accompanied the show titled "One Approach to the Art of Walt Kuhn" which discussed the musical aspect of Kuhn's paintings. In the essay he remarked, "one does not have to search far to discover astonishing examples of rhythm, harmony and counterpoint. His scale of dynamics is most unusual and ranges from the subdued velvet tones of muted strings to the powerful volume of full orchestra. His color schemes include everything from the wooden clack of the xylophone to the blatant brass blasts of trumpet or trombone." (as quoted in P.R. Adams, Walt Kuhn, Painter: His Life and Work, Columbus, Ohio, 1978, p. 105) The vivacity of color and powerful rhythm of Amalgam inspired Spier to write a musical score to accompany the work titled "Atonality in brass." Though measuring sixty inches high at the time of the exhibition, the present work has since been cut down to its current size.

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