Lot 5: STUART DAVIS | Portrait of a Woman
20 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: oil on canvas
The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes, Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, firstname.lastname@example.org, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This work has not been restored for many years, probably since the early 1970s when it was acquired by the present owner. Many early Davis paintings have suffered, mainly from a chaotic studio environment not uncommon for young artists. In this case, it seems that the painting has a glue lining from the 1970s and was probably heavily varnished and retouched at that time. Beneath the heavy varnish and dirt layer are restorations that are not visible under ultraviolet light. However, it can be seen with the naked eye that there is a horizontal disturbance beneath the chin of the sitter running towards the right edge and another running through the center of the torso. These areas may indicate that the canvas was removed from its stretcher and perhaps folded or improperly packed. There are other spots of retouching around the edges, but these are not significant. Some or all of these retouches or repainted areas could be Davis’ own. If and when the work is cleaned, the heavy varnish would be removed to reveal a considerably more textured and lively surface and a brighter and more colorful palette. However, there is a good chance that horizontal losses and damages across the center of the work and through the lower quarter of the work would also be revealed after any soluble retouches were removed. The signature and date are original. The condition and timeline and origin of the repainting or restoration can only be determined if the picture is properly tested.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Esther Stuttman Gallery, New York
Gertrude Stein Gallery, New York, circa 1971
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Dimensions: 30 by 24 inches
Literature: A. Boyajian and M. Rutkoski, Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. III, New Haven, Connecticut, 2007, no. 1357, p. 26, illustrated
Medium: oil on canvas