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John Little
"Wallpaper Studies" Eagles, Flowers, Bunting, Color Code Bar, Decorative, Colors

1935

$2,844
$3,55520% Off

About

"Wallpaper Studies" is just that, a watercolor of a proposed design for a wallpaper with its's color code on the lower left. The painting is of a Nationalistic decorative theme with eagles, flowers, and red and white bunting all displayed on a brilliantly blue background. It might be hard to imagine now in the 21st century a room covered in such a dynamic and colorful a design, but framed as a painting, it succeeds as a bright splash of color with a reminder of important iconic Nationalistic themes. John Little was an abstract expressionist artist who founded a New York company that made fabrics and wallpaper with designs inspired by abstract expressionism. His work was shown in galleries in Europe, Japan and the United States. Among his larger one-man shows was an exhibition of paintings at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco in 1946; of paintings and collages at the Worth Ryder Gallery at the University of California at Berkeley in 1963, and a selection of his 70's works at the Fine Arts Center of SUNY at Stonybrook, N.Y., in 1981. A retrospective of his work was shown at the Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton in 1982. John Little was born in Alabama and as a teenager attended the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy now known as the Albert Knox Art Gallery founded in 1862 and one of the oldest art galleries in the United States. Their collections are modern pieces showing styles of abstract expressionism, pop art, and art of the 1970s through the end of the century. The Knox gallery also represented such artists such as Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, and Andy Warhol. Additionally, the gallery was also rich in various pieces of post-war American and European art. Their contemporary collection includes pieces by artists such as Kiki Smith, Allan Graham, Georg Baselitz, John Connell, and Per Kirkeby, the Danish painter. Little attended the Art Student League and studied under George Grosz, painting mainly Cezannesque landscapes. From 1937 to 1942, he started working with Hans Hofmann in both New York and Provincetown, which pushed him towards abstraction and his first serious involvement as a painter. At Hofmann’s school he met artists such as Lee Krasner, George McNeil, Gerome Kamrowski, Giorgio Cavallon and Perle Fine. In 1942 he became a naval serial photographer returning to New York after the war and moved into Hans Hofmann’s 8th Street studio where his neighbors were Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock. The paintings of the late 1940s reveal great experimentation and a growing interest in both Surrealist automatism, Picasso and the theories of Hans Hofmann. In 1946 he had a one-man show at the California Palance of the Legion of Honor in San Francsico with a follow-up solo show at Betty Parsons. It was at this time that Little and Pollack had two main shows together that were exhibited across the U.S. He began painting in the 1950s in thick, gestural buildup of paint and started a series of constructions created from driftwood and beach-coming detritus. Little and Pollock had a joint exhibition in 1955 at Guild Hall. He helped found the Signa Gallery, an important outpost in East Hampton for the growing New York art scene. Little had solo exhibitions at, among others, Betty Parsons Gallery, Bertha Schaefer Gallery, Worth Ryder Gallery, A.M. Sachs Gallery, and the Guild Hall Museum. His work is part of the permanent collections at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guild Hall Museum, Ball State University Museum of Art and Galerie Beyeler among others. Without the frame the piece measures 32” h x 50” w.

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