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Lawrence Rothbort
Large American Folk Art Masterpiece Glass Mosaic Sculpture Painting Wall Hanging

20th Century

$10,000

About

Titled: Pop (Samuel Rothbort) in our living room. Bears estate stamp of his father, famed American folk artist Samuel Rothbort. one of only about 10 in total large scale mosaics that he did, each one took many months. very complicated intricate work made up of glass and tile in all different sizes and and shapes. This had been mounted as a coffee table top but was intended to be hung on the wall. Lawrence Rothbort 1920-1963 Lawrence Rothbort, son of American Impressionist - Samuel Rothbort, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1920, and achieved fame for his expressionist style painting, earning comparison to Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh. At age 16 he dropped out of High School and became an avid reader of philosophy, religion and mysticism which, eventually, led him to become a moral vegetarian. As a pacifist during World War II - he refused to serve in the military. A requirement therefore, was to work on farms due to the manpower shortage. For one year at the age of 24, he left home for the Pocono's where he would live as a hermit , living off the land and closely observing nature. Rothbort returned home in 1945 determined to become an artist. As a self-trained artist, he worked non-stop, seven days a week, grinding his own paints, experimenting in oils, watercolors, pen & ink. He developed several new techniques such as the patient application of paint with sharpened twigs to the canvas, and the combination of oil painting with glass. He created enormous mosaics and it was not unusual for a piece to take several months to complete. The Charles Barzansky Gallery gave him his first solo show in 1947. The reviews were excellent comparing his pen & ink drawing and painting to the "old masters" "extraordinary" and his oils "outstanding", "admirably executed", " a Seurat painter", "most personal revelation of an arresting talent" where he was praised by critics as a descendent of Paul Gauguin. Like his father, he recorded the ever changing landscape of New York, including 5th Avenue with flags - always on location and never touching up or finishing an outdoor work in the studio. He stated their "Direct Art was synonymous with truth." He worked in oil, casein, pen & ink and ceramic and glass. Depending upon the subject and medium, his work would take anywhere from 3 months to one and a half years; working every day for no less that 8 - 12 hours. In 1954, using discarded glass from the shores and junk piles, he embarked on a new phase in his career and began creating mosaics. In 1956, he married a young piano teacher with whom he had three children. In 1956 they moved to Florida where he completed three major works, one of which was an enormous mosaic of his wife nursing their first born surrounded by everything they owned. The work is reminiscent of Medieval Madonna's. Rothbort returned to Brooklyn in 1960 and established a small gallery behind his family's apartment. He would often travel with his supplies in a carriage to various locations throughout Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn painting from location, never touching up or finishing his outdoor work in a studio. He felt it was extremely important to be in direct contact with the subject being painted in order to convey its true feeling. He referred to this as " Direct Art ". He was a true Outsider Art artist. His work can be categorized as visionary art or folk art but it really defies categorization. In 1963, in an attempted robbery at his gallery. Rothbort was shot to death, leaving behind a pregnant wife and two children. His death sparked a memorial exhibit a few months later at the Riverside Gallery, where he received many outstanding newspaper reviews praising his work. A writer for the New York Post stated - " If some of the gallery visitors came looking for the birth of an American Van Gogh, not all of them go away disappointed ". Lawrence Rothbort did not typically sign his work, as he always claimed his work was to original to have been done by anyone else.

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