JACOB LAWRENCE (1917-2000)
JACOB LAWRENCE (1917-2000)
JACOB LAWRENCE (1917-2000)
JACOB LAWRENCE (1917-2000)
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JACOB LAWRENCE (1917-2000)

U.S.O. 'Show'

JACOB LAWRENCE (1917-2000)
Lawrence, J.
U.S.O. 'Show'
signed, dated and inscribed 'Jacob Lawrence 1945/U.S.C.G' (lower right)—signed again and inscribed with title (on the reverse)
gouache and watercolor on paper
21 ½ x 29 ½ in. (54.6 x 74.9 cm.)
Executed in 1945.
United States Coast Guard, Washington, D.C.
Terry Dintenfass Gallery, New York.
Margit Chanin, New York.
Hammer Galleries, New York.
Sid Deutsch Gallery, New York.
Acquired by the present owner.
P. Nesbett, Jacob Lawrence: Paintings, Drawings, and Murals (1935-1999): A Catalogue Raisonné, Seattle, 2000, p. 88, no. P45-05, illustrated.
Sarasota Herald Tribune, May 9, 2004, illustrated.
Longboat Key Observer, May 6, 2004, p. 7C, illustrated.
Longboat Key Observer, May 20, 2004, p. 3B, illustrated.
Tampa Bay Times, May 23, 2004, pp. 3E, 8E, illustrated.
Butler Institute of Art Newsletter, Fall 2004, Youngstown, Ohio, p. 3, illustrated.
L. Bennett, "The Essence of Modernism Rebuffs Labels," Tampa Bay Times, January 23, 2011 (as Entertaining the Troops).
Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University, The Art Museum, Fragments of American Life, An Exhibition of Paintings, January 25-March 28, 1976, pp. 51, 55 (as Entertaining the Troops).
Hempstead, New York, Museum of Long Island, Celebrating Contemporary American Black Artists, March 13-May 1, 1983 (as Entertaining the Troops).
New York, Hammer Galleries, The New Spirit in American Painting: 1900-1970, November 6-December 2, 1995, illustrated (as Entertaining the Troops).
Boca Raton, Florida, Boca Raton Museum of Art; Sarasota, Florida, Ringling Museum of Art; Youngstown, Ohio, The Butler Institute of American Art, American Modernism, November 19, 2003-November 14, 2004, pp. 54-5, 69, no. 35, illustrated (as Entertaining the Troops).
Tampa, Florida, Tampa Museum of Art, American Modernism, January 8-February 27, 2011 (as Entertaining the Troops).

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Lot Essay

In the present work, three siren-like women perform before an anonymous crowd of soldiers. According to John Ralph Willis, USO 'Show' "provides mock relief to the ravages of war...The traidaic form [of the performers] is echoed in the mountainous lines beyond the rim of the crowd—in the troop formation that angles the stage...The hypnotic sway of the sirens suggests an orchestration by some secret string, their prepossession by some hidden force." (Fragments of American Life, An Exhibition of Paintings, exhibition catalogue, Princeton, New Jersey, p. 51) Lawrence masterfully injects a scene of entertainment with an intangible sense of eeriness, acknowledging the tension of the soldiers amidst World War II.

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