Alfred Henry Maurer
(New York, 1868-1932) Still Life
, circa 1920s
Oil on board
18" x 21 1/2"
Signed "A.H. Maurer" to the bottom right. The reverse of the frame has a window displaying the tag of Erhard Weyhe, a New York dealer who represented Maurer beginning in 1924 and arranged annual exhibitions for Maurer until 1931. The glazed frame measures 22" x 25 1/2" x 1 1/4".
Alfred Maurer has been described as "the first American Modernist painter," with his style evolving from Tonalism to Fauvism to Cubism. The son of a commercial lithographer, Maurer studied with William Merritt Chase and John Quincy Adams Ward before moving to Paris in 1897 to attend the Acadamie Julien. There in the heart of the modern art world, Maurer's artistic talent and style fourished and developed, and he created friendships with Gertrude and Leo Stein, Paul Cezanne, and Henri Matisse. He participated in significant modern exhibitions including the 1907 Salon d'Automne and Armory Show of 1913.
This period in his career was abruptly interrupted with the onset of World War I, sending him back to New York, where the American market for modern art had hardly begun. With the hurried repatriation, Maurer lost most of his work; he suddenly found himself critically ignored and thrust into an acutely stressful relationship living with his father, who disdained modern art. Nevertheless, Maurer helped pave the development of American Cubism throughout the 1920s, with colorful abstract compositions of figures and of still life (this painting being from that period). Tragically, his personal and professional frustrations culminated when his father passed away, and he took his own life soon after in 1932. His career and work, though appreciated by his peers, was largely ignored by the American market and critics until later reappraisal.
Very good condition. The paint layer is not retouched. There is a 1/8" ding at the extreme bottom edge in the center, and there are a few very small bits of detritus caught inside the frame (likely from the frame itself). The frame is from the period, and shows wears commensurate with its age.