Reuben Nakian

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Reuben Nakian
1897-1986
Duchess of Alba Series, 60.50-023 60.59.005
1959-1960
Black ink and wash on paper.
12 x 17 3/4 inches (30.5 x 45.0 cm)
Gift of Margot and C. Leonard Gordon.
2009.420
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Signed on verso.

Provenance: 
Margot and C. Leonard Gordon.
Notes: 

A native of New York State, Reuben Nakian attended the Independent School of Art in New York City before studying with Paul Manship. Nakian is best known for his unique three-dimensional works in the Abstract Expressionist mode. He was friendly with Abstract Expressionist painters, particularly with Arshile Gorky and Willem de Kooning, whose works are said to have influenced Nakian’s mature style. Themes that recur throughout Nakian’s oeuvre include abstractions of the nude female body and subjects from Greek and Roman mythology. The drawing from the "Mars and Venus Series" incorporates both of the subjects that most interested the artist. Together with the drawing from the "Duchess of Alba Series," the two are prime examples of the artist’s expressive, almost ecstatic, figural abstractions.

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