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Fifty Years Female: 20th Century Abstraction from a Private Collection

Jump 1

Jump 1
signed, titled and dated ‘”JUMP 1” 1954 Ehrenhalt’ (lower edge); signed again, titled again and dated again ‘”Jump 1” 1954 Ehrenhalt’ (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
11 3⁄8 x 9 in. (28.9 x 22.9 cm.)
Painted in 1954.
Estate of the artist
Acquired from the above by the present owner
New York, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, Abstract Schmabstract!, January-April 2019.
New York, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, Jump In And Move Around, January-March 2020, p. 10 (illustrated).

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Julian Ehrlich
Julian Ehrlich Specialist, Head of Sale, Post-War to Present

Lot Essay

"I don’t want to be perceived as a woman, but as a good artist, someone who can stand her ground next to the best."
—Amaranth Ehrenhalt

Born in the tri-state area to a middle-class family, Amaranth Ehrenhalt's (1928-2021) studies at the University of Pennsylvania paled in comparison to her exposure to modern art at the Barnes Foundation, which laid the foundation for a practice steeped in colorful abstraction. From Philadelphia to Greenwich Village, Ehrenhalt was no stranger to the famed Cedar Tavern, brushing off a dinner invite from Willem de Kooning and listening in on Jackson Pollock's boastful statements. When New York lost its luster, she set sail for Paris, where a three-week planned stay melted into forty years of struggle for paint's sake. Sharing clothes with Joan Mitchell, food with Beauford Delaney and supplies with Sonia Delaunay, Ehrenhalt's eclectic, creative surroundings inspired the riotous, vibrant compositions for which she is only now being rightfully remembered. Her undeniable grit in making a life for herself and her two children is evident in her forceful strokes and raucous palettes, but tempered by the care with which fellow artists regarded her. Told through her own words in the September 2012 issue of Vogue, the story of receiving a cashmere shawl from Alberto Giacometti in some ways mirrors her symbiotic relationships throughout the art world: "Only after it was gone did I realize it was not so much the object itself that was the gift, as how Alberto taught me to accept one" (A. Ehrenhalt, "Cafe Society," Vogue, September 2012, p. 498).

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