Revere Auctions
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Revere Auctions Fine Art Evening Sale

Wed, Mar 20, 2024 08:00PM EDT
Lot 47

Lowell Nesbitt "Two Irises on Black" Oil on Canvas

Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000

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
Lowell Nesbitt (American, 1933-1993). Large oil on canvas painting titled "Two Irises on Black" depicting two blooming pink-red irises against a pure black background. Signed and titled along the verso.

Provenance: Private Minnesota Collection.

Lot Essay:
born in Maryland, Lowell Nesbitt studied art throughout his scholarly career, eventually earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Temple University in Pennsylvania. Additionally, he studied stained glass and printmaking during a fellowship with the Royal College of Art in London. After serving in the United States Army for two years, he worked as a night watchman at The Phillips Collection before relocating to New York City to pursue his career as an artist.

While he hosted his first exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1958, it would not be until his 1964 debut at the Corcoran Gallery of Art that he would receive widespread recognition for his works. The botanical works displayed, much like the painting offered here, were influenced by Robert Indiana. Upon viewing some of Nesbitt's works in the preceding years, he suggested that Nesbitt should move from abstraction to realism, which would come to be the artist's forte.

The photorealistic paintings - a term that Nesbitt fought against - would define his career. He established that his works covered a wide diversity of techniques and styles. He painted flowers, studio interiors, articles of clothing, x-ray figures, fruits and vegetables, caverns and ruins, and a plethora of other subjects.

In addition to his painting career, he fostered relationships with some of the greatest artistic names of the 20th century including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Robert Motherwell, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist, and Robert Mapplethorpe. His relationship with the latter caused some controversy when the Corcoran Gallery canceled an exhibition for being too explicit. Nesbitt publically revoked a $1.5 million bequest and gifted it instead to the Phillips Collection when the Corcoran Gallery refused to reinstall Mapplethorpe's works in a show of support.

Unframed; height: 57 in x width: 39 1/2 in. Framed; height: 58 1/2 in x width: 41 in.


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