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Jan Matulka (1890-1972)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection
Jan Matulka (1890-1972)

At Sea

Jan Matulka (1890-1972)
At Sea
signed 'Matulka' (lower left)
oil on canvas
36 ¼ x 30 ¼ in. (92.1 x 76.8 cm.)
Painted circa 1932.
The artist.
Estate of the above.
Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, New York.
Acquired by the late owner from the above, 1979.
H. Stromholt, "Riding the Waves of a Dark Sea," The Christian Science Monitor, March 24, 1992, p. 16, illustrated.
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; Houston, Texas, Museum of Fine Arts; Birmingham, Alabama, Birmingham Museum of Art; Washington, D.C., National Collection of Fine Arts, Jan Matulka, 1890-1972, December 18, 1979-February 9, 1981, p. 68, no. 21, fig. 71, illustrated.
Paris, France, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Houston, Texas, Museum of Fine Arts; Geneva, Switzerland, Musée Rath, Ferdinand Léger and the Modern Spirit, 1918-1931: An Avant Garde Alternative to Non Objective Art, March 1982-January 16, 1983, p. 285, no. 78, illustrated.
St. Louis, Missouri, St. Louis Art Museum; Honolulu, Hawaii, Honolulu Academy of Arts; Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts, The Ebsworth Collection: American Modernism, 1911-1947, November 20, 1987-June 5, 1988, pp. 134-35, 212, no. 45, illustrated.
Special notice

On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.

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Lot Essay

Immigrating from Czechoslovakia to New York in 1907, Jan Matulka quickly became a member of the American Modernist circles and often spent summers in Gloucester, Massachusetts, with his friend and fellow artist Stuart Davis. As The New York Times critic Ken Johnson writes, "At their best, Matulka's paintings have a warm, playful feeling. [His] harbor scenes present him at his most appealing...the paintings depict views of seaside houses and wharves, rocky shores, blue bays and chunky, toy-like boats. They are robustly painted in a style that looks like a marriage of folk art and Cubism. Matulka doesn't push abstraction here as far as did his friend Stuart Davis, with whom he spent time in Gloucester, Mass. The tightly packed compositions, patchy Cezannesque brushwork, Fauvist palette and blocky forms give the pictures a rich formal immediacy. But Matulka also conveys an enchanting sense of place. It's hard not to be charmed by this urbane modernist's fantasy of maritime rusticity." ("Art in Review; Jan Matulka," The New York Times, June 25, 1999, p. E31)

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