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E.E. Cummings' Art, p. 1

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click for a larger image of item #34361, Horizon View: Chocorua Oil on canvas. 43" x 20". No date. [#034361] $18,000
click for a larger image of item #23666, Reclining Nude Undated. 16" x 13". Oil on wood. Framed. A portrait of Cummings' wife, Marion Morehouse, reclining on a bed in a position reminiscent, presumably deliberately, of Goya's "The Naked Maja." Goya's painting was considered scandalous in its day, in a way that some of Cummings' artwork -- especially his erotic paintings of strippers, lovers, and sensuous nudes -- were in his own time, or at least he seems to have intended them to be. A stylized image, foreshortening perspective and thus alluding to Cummings' origins as an abstract, rather than realist, painter. Fine. Letter of provenance provided. [#023666] $17,000
click for a larger image of item #33852, A Girl and Her Dog ca. 1928.

A large portrait by Cummings of his stepdaughter, Diana Barton, with one of her dogs at Joy Farm in New Hampshire, sometime between 1927 and 1930. Diana was born in 1921; Cummings met Anne Barton in 1925 and they spent several summers at Joy Farm beginning in 1927. Diana is standing outside, with her dog at her side and Mount Chocorua in the background.

One of the best-loved American poets of the 20th century, Cummings was also a prolific visual artist: he considered writing and painting to be his "twin obsessions." He exhibited his work in the annual Society of Independent Artists shows from 1916-1927, and he was the art editor of The Dial magazine, the preeminent Modernist literary journal in the U.S., in the 1920s. In 1933, Cummings published a book of his artwork in a limited edition. Called CIOPW, it took its title from the media he used in his art: charcoal, ink, oil, pencil and watercolors. In his early years he emphasized abstract painting; from the 1930s on he tended toward representational images, albeit with a range of inventive palettes, which some have compared to his inventiveness with words and poetic forms and structures.

This is an early, transitional image by Cummings, painted as he was moving from abstract to representational art but still using the brilliant color schemes and flourishes that link his later art back to his abstracts. In this painting, the sky is "psychedelic," the mountain range has a variety and richness of color, and Cummings has taken liberties with the proportions. 35-3/4" x 47-3/4". Oil on Upson Processed Board (a fiberboard used as a building material in the early 20th century), with a narrow (2" x 8") chip missing from the lower left corner, affecting only flora. "DIANA BARTON" written on the back (in a child's hand?); also "1928-9?" Unsigned, as was most of Cummings' artwork, as he adhered to the theory (popularized decades later) that art is best encountered independent of its artist, even as his paintings seem to shed light on his innovative, visual style of poetry.

[#033852] $15,000
click for a larger image of item #34360, Barren Tree On Stormy Night Oil on canvas. 24" x 20-1/2". Signed by Cummings on the back. No date. [#034360] $15,000
click for a larger image of item #31576, The Artist's Mother At Table 1942. A portrait by Cummings of his mother, Rebecca Clarke Cummings, immortalized in Cummings' words: "if there are any heavens my mother will(all by herself)have one." Oil on canvas. 15" x 20". Dated on verso, September 1, 1942. [#031576] $15,000
click for a larger image of item #34359, Vision Of Landscape 1949-01-09. Oil on canvas. 20" x 15". Signed by Cummings on the back. [#034359] $13,500
click for a larger image of item #14969, Christmas Tree 1947. Oil on composition board. 32" x 25". Dated December 25, 1947. Inscribed by Cummings on the rear of the painting: "For Marion/ love!/ Xmas/ 1947." This image was later used as a Christmas card that Cummings and Marion Morehouse had made. Corners abraded. Unframed. [#014969] $12,500
click for a larger image of item #23667, Girl with Green Hair Undated. 17" x 21". Pastels. Framed. A half-length figure, executed in pastels, and borrowing from Cubism in its perspectives. Undated, but apparently from the early part of Cummings' career, probably the 1920s, when his artwork was still very explicitly associated with modernist and abstract movements. Fine but fragile. Signed by Cummings on the lower right with his stylized "EEC" signature. Letter of provenance provided. [#023667] $12,000
click for a larger image of item #31599, Portrait In Profile 1955. Oil on canvas. 15" x 20". Portrait of fellow Harvard alumnus and fellow New Hampshire painter William James, Jr. On the verso: "w.j." and "10-01-55." [#031599] $11,000
click for a larger image of item #14965, Back View From Patchin Place Oil on canvasboard. 19-3/4" x 15-3/4". No date. A cityscape looking out the back of Cummings' apartment in Greenwich Village. [#014965] $11,000
click for a larger image of item #26464, "Pale Moon" 1939. Oil on cardboard. 18" x 15-1/2". Signed by Cummings on the verso, where he has added the date 2/9/39 and an "A." Additionally noted on verso: Gotham Book Mart #825, the title and dimensions, and "M24708M gray with two tone insert." The painting has an upper left corner chip and is horizontally scored 1" from the bottom edge; near fine. [#026464] ON HOLD
$10,000
click for a larger image of item #34358, Abstracted Figure: Red Face Oil on cardboard. 10-1/2" x 16-1/4". No date. [#034358] $10,000
click for a larger image of item #31600, Twilight At Chocorua Watercolor of a sunset sky over Mount Chocorua. 18" x 12". This painting is signed by Cummings on the verso. Undated. [#031600] $9,750
click for a larger image of item #33235, Evening At Sunset 1950-09-09. Watercolor. 20" x 14". Signed on back. [#033235] $9,500
click for a larger image of item #31598, Joy Farm Terrace 1957. The porch at Joy Farm, near Silver Lake, NH. Oil on canvas. 16" x 12". On the verso: "joy farm terrace." "m.m.c.," and "july 27, 57." [#031598] $9,500
click for a larger image of item #31585, View Through A Forest 1945. A sunlit trail beneath a wooded canopy. Oil on canvasboard. 20" x 16". Dated on verso:, August 1945. [#031585] $9,500
click for a larger image of item #34357, Leaping Nude 1947-04-23. Oil on cardboard. 16" x 20-1/2". [#034357] $9,500
click for a larger image of item #34356, Standing Female 1945-05-27. Oil on cardboard. 8-1/2" x 14". [#034356] $9,000
click for a larger image of item #34355, Nude With Green Drape 1950-05-11. Oil on cardboard. 16" x 20-1/4". [#034355] $9,000
click for a larger image of item #31593, Mt. Chocorua: Morning Mt. Chocorua, 1961. The summer sun hitting the Sandwich Range. Oil on canvas. 12" x 16". On the verso: "june 30, 1961." [#031593] $9,000
click for a larger image of item #34353, Formalized Landscape 1959-09-21. Oil on canvas. 15" x 20". Signed by Cummings on the back. [#034353] $9,000
click for a larger image of item #31581, Mt.Chocorua From A Distance Watercolor of Mount Chocorua on a partly sunny day. 17-7/8" x 12". Uncharacteristically, this painting is signed by Cummings (on the verso, which was common on the rare occasions that he did sign his work). No date. [#031581] $8,500
click for a larger image of item #34352, Flowers In Large Pot On Table Oil on canvasboard. 26" x 20". No date. [#034352] $8,500
click for a larger image of item #31605, Street Corner (Paris) Flower vendor and pedestrians on a street corner in Paris. Oil on cardboard. 8-1/2" x 17-1/2". Framed. No date. [#031605] $8,500
click for a larger image of item #34350, Landscape 1962-08-28. Oil on canvas. 12" x 16". [#034350] $8,000
click for a larger image of item #31626, Tree At Sunset A bare, black tree under a vivid end times sky. Oil on canvas. 16" x 12". No date. [#031626] $8,000
click for a larger image of item #34349, Blue Mountain With Orange Sky Oil on canvas. 16" x 12". No date. [#034349] $8,000
click for a larger image of item #34351, Seated Nude On Shore, One Leg In Water Oil on cardboard. 10-3/4" x 13-3/4". No date. [#034351] $8,000
click for a larger image of item #34347, Standing Nude: White Drape On Shoulder 1939-05-28. Oil on cardboard. 8-3/4" x 17-3/4". [#034347] $7,700
click for a larger image of item #34348, Male Atlas 1940-12-18. Oil on cardboard. 8-1/2" x 17-1/2". [#034348] $7,700
click for a larger image of item #34345, Portrait Of Alice James 1942-08-28. Oil on canvas. 12" x 16". [#034345] $7,500
click for a larger image of item #31622, Intense Waterfall Oil on cardboard. 8-1/2" x 17". No date. [#031622] $7,500
click for a larger image of item #31362, Landscape with Red Tree and White Birches 1947. Oil on canvas by Cummings, who did not title his paintings; the title given here is purely descriptive. 18" x 24". "By E.E. Cummings" written on the wood frame, apparently in another's hand. Cummings signed only a small fraction of his work, deliberately and for philosophical reasons: he believed the work should stand on its own -- and be judged on its own merits or faults -- rather than be judged by who the creator of it was. When he backed away from the New York art scene in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Cummings was backing away from what he considered to be an artistic milieu driven by personality and ego rather than by art. After his early period as an abstract artist, he focused on representational art for the rest of his life, but often -- as in this painting -- he used a palette and a style that owed much to his early influences among modern artists: Cezanne, Matisse, and the Fauvists. One tack missing from the top of the stretched canvas; else fine. [#031362] $7,500
click for a larger image of item #34344, The Artist's Mother In A Green Dress 1945-08-25. Oil on canvas. 15" x 20". [#034344] $7,500
click for a larger image of item #34346, Marion Morehouse Oil on cardboard. 8-1/2" x 17-1/2". No date. [#034346] $7,500
click for a larger image of item #31573, Flowers In A Blue Jug 1962. Oil on canvas. 15" x 20". [#031573] $7,500
click for a larger image of item #31612, Layered Landscape Late fall in the Sandwich Range. Watercolor. 18" x 12". No date. [#031612] $7,000
click for a larger image of item #34343, Pastel Landscape Oil on canvas. 16" x 10". No date. [#034343] $7,000
click for a larger image of item #34342, Head: Woman Smiling Oil on cardboard. 12" x 18". No date. [#034342] $7,000
click for a larger image of item #33237, Rising Moon Watercolor. 18" x 12". Signed on front. No date. [#033237] $6,500
click for a larger image of item #34340, Blonde Woman Standing By Flowering Tree Oil on canvas. 16" x 20". No date. [#034340] $6,500
click for a larger image of item #34341, Two Couples Oil on canvasboard. 13" x 16". No date. [#034341] $6,500
click for a larger image of item #31616, Vibrant Mountainscape Oil on canvasboard. 12" x 18". No date. [#031616] $6,500
click for a larger image of item #31597, Bouquet In White Vase 1947-09-25. Oil on canvas. 15" x 20". [#031597] $6,500
click for a larger image of item #31641, Marion Morehouse, Seated 1939. Oil on canvasboard. 10" x 14". November 4, 1939. [#031641] $6,500
click for a larger image of item #33238, Harbor At Pornic Watercolor. 12-3/4" x 10-7/8". Signed on front. No date. [#033238] $6,500
click for a larger image of item #31638, Woman Reading Oil on canvasboard. 15" x 18". No date. [#031638] $6,500
click for a larger image of item #31634, Flowers In Glass Pitcher 1944-04-13. Oil on canvas. 18" x 26". [#031634] $6,500
click for a larger image of item #34339, Waterfall 1944-10-04. Oil on canvas. 18" x 24". [#034339] $6,500
click for a larger image of item #31569, Still Life With Pumpkins Oil on canvasboard. 16" x 12". No date. [#031569] $6,500