Revere Auctions
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Revere Auctions Fine Art Evening Sale

Wed, Mar 20, 2024 08:00PM EDT
Lot 35

Jan Matulka "Still Life w/ Ceramic Bird" Painting

Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$300 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
$500,000 $25,000
$1,000,000 $50,000
$10,000,000 $100,000
Jan Matulka (Czech/American, 1890-1972). Oil on canvas painting titled "Still Life with Ceramic Bird" depicting a small table with two shells, a ceramic bird form vessel, and a lamp, ca. 1930. Signed along the lower right.

Provenance: Alexander Raydon Gallery, New York; Private Collection, United States; Artnet, June 11, 2013, New York; Private Minnesota Collection.

Exhibition: Collective Council Gallery, New York, May-December 2013.

Lot Essay:
Jan Matulka was born in a small town in South Bohemia. While he took his first art classes in Prague, his family soon emigrated to New York City. He attended classes at the National Academy of Design and, upon his graduation, won a Joseph Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship. It was with this money that he traveled back to Europe, visiting Paris in 1919. He rented a studio and returned there throughout the 1920s. He began a long teaching career in 1925 at the Art Students League. Throughout his life, he taught artists such as Dorothy Dehner, Francis Criss, Brugoyne Diller, Irene Rice Pereira, David Smith, Jacob Burck, Esther Shemitz, and many more.

Matulka painted continuously and often in differing styles depending on the time of day. He was known to create abstract works in the morning and end the day with landscapes. He joined the Public Works of Art Project as well as the Federal Art Project, painting murals.

Many of his works were influenced by the American Southwest. In his travels there, he frequented Native American dances and studied the art, ceremonies, and customs of the Pueblo tribes. He was drawn by the romanticized - and often exoticized - depiction of Native Americans during this time. This influence is visible in the present lot with the unique ceramic bird displayed in the still life.

As Matulka aged he withdrew more and more from society, more so as his health failed. Throughout the latter part of his life, his works were subject to much acclaim when they were exhibited. During his life, he exhibited frequently at the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery in New York. His posthumous credits include, among others, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the British Museum, and the Guggenheim.

Sight; height: 35 1/2 in x width: 29 1/2 in. Framed; height: 42 in x width: 36 in.


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