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Ruth Todd
The Demolished Man (Universal Landscape Series), Mixed Media Painting, Black Red

circa 1960



The Demolished Man, vintage circa 1960 semi abstract painting with a bust of a man within an abstract background, painted in black, white and red by Denver woman artist, Ruth Todd (1909-2006). From the artist's "Universal Landscape Series", she created a 3 dimensional bas relief effect by using oil paint with cloth and sawdust. Mixed Media with oil paint, cloth and sawdust on board. Signed by the artist and titled verso. Presented in a vintage frame, outer dimensions measure 58 ⅝ x 42 ¾ x 1 inches. Image size is 58 x 41 ¾ inches. About Ruth Todd: Born Ruth Thomas to Judson Cornelius and Flora Thomas in Sanford, North Carolina, her first foray into art occurred as a youngster living on the rural Thomas estate. With few friends nearby, she occupied herself with drawing without a mentor’s guidance. “It was just there,” she later recalled, “it was a natural thing.” In the 1930s she relocated to New York where she worked as a fashion model to support her studies at the Art Students League. Her career was cut short when she was diagnosed with tuberculosis. She moved to Colorado Springs, then famous for its restorative success with the disease. In the mid-1950s her career as an Abstract Expressionist blossomed after studying with Robert Motherwell in 1956 when he was a visiting artist teaching at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Two years later she had a solo show at the Morris Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, earning her a review notice in Art News. One of her prize scrapbook clippings was an art-magazine review from one of her New York shows right next to a review of famed abstract expressionist, Joan Mitchell, succinctly describing Todd: “An inquisitive, precise, energetic and bold Coloradoan rambles through alleys of tactile excitement.” In 1962 she received a solo show at the prestigious Bodley Gallery in Manhattan, an upper East Side haven for new and modern art from the 1940s until closing in the 1980s during which time it exhibited Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul Klee, Fernand Léger, René Magritte, Roberto Matta, Max Ernst, Larry Rivers, Yves Tanguy, and Andy Warhol. Todd also participated in group exhibitions at the New York City Center Gallery, LDM Sweat Memorial Galleries-Portland Museum of Art, Nelson-Atkins Museum, Joslyn Art Museum, Museum of New Mexico-Santa Fe, and the Denver Art Museum. Based in Denver since the 1950s, she became one of Colorado’s most accomplished avant-garde artists. She had a keen eye for beauty, working in a variety of media and employing unusual combinations of materials, textures, textiles and paints. Her husband, poet Littleton Todd and owner of Todd Manufacturing specializing in handcrafted wood products, brought home sacks of saw dust that she mixed with oil paint to create lush, appealing surfaces. She also used gravel and found objects such as pieces of burnt wood from a building on East Colfax Avenue, broken asphalt shingles knocked down in a windstorm from a neighbor’s roof, as well as her own paint rags. In the 1970s she did a series of wood collages. Shortly before her death at age 96, the Sandra Phillips Gallery in Denver gave her a mini-retrospective exhibition during which she threaded through the crowd, relishing the adulation accorded her. The directness and honesty of her work, together with her groundbreaking contributions to the Denver art community, have earned her a significant place in Colorado’s art history. © Stan Cuba for David Cook Galleries


  • Creator
    Ruth Todd (1909 - 2006)
  • Creation Year
    circa 1960
  • Dimensions
    Height: 58.5 in. (148.59 cm)Width: 42.75 in. (108.59 cm)Depth: 1 in. (2.54 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
    very good vintage condition, some wear to the frame is shown in photos.
  • Gallery Location
    Denver, CO
  • Reference Number
    Seller: DCG-244981stDibs: LU2738071692

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Denver, CO
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Denver, CO
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