1915 - 1994
acrylic on canvas
on verso signed, titled, dated 1983 and inscribed "(Magna)"
40 x 40 in, 101.6 x 101.6 cm
Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000 CAD
Sold for: $97,250
M. Knoedler & Company, New York, 1984
Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton
Acquired from the above by a Private Collection, Edmonton
By descent to the present Private Collection, Vancouver
Night Bird was painted during a pivotal moment in abstract painter Friedel Dzubas’s prolific career. Born in Berlin during the First World War, Dzubas immigrated to New York City in 1939 and soon found himself entrenched in the city’s modern art scene. In 1983, the same year this work was created, a major survey exhibit of the artist’s work was held at the Smithsonian’s Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. This retrospective, which traced his artistic progression from abstract expressionism in the 1940s to larger and more dynamic color field paintings in the 1960s and beyond, was the largest and most comprehensive institutional display of Dzubas’s works since his career began.
Reminiscent of other works he created in the early 1980s, Night Bird exemplifies Dzubas’s mature style and demonstrates his mastery of composition and layering. During this period, Dzubas abandoned his earlier method of making sketches in preparation for his paintings and began creating works spontaneously. Working with Magna, a richly-pigmented brand of acrylic resin paint, Dzubas filled this canvas with swaths of rich blues, greens, and purples that appear solid, almost Baroque in their monumentality.
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