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Lot 18
John Koch
Siesta 30 1/8 x 25 1/4in (76.5 x 64.1cm)
29 July 2020, 16:00 EDT
New York

Sold for US$596,075 inc. premium

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John Koch (1909-1978)

signed 'Koch' (lower left)
oil on canvas
30 1/8 x 25 1/4in (76.5 x 64.1cm)
Painted in 1962.


The artist.
Kraushaar Galleries, New York.
Mrs. Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans, acquired from the above.
Dr. Rebecca Trent Kirkland, by bequest from the above, 2012.
Gift to the present owner from the above, 2013.

New York, The New York Historical Society, John Koch: Painting a New York Life, October 16, 2001-January 27, 2002, pp. 84-85, 106, no. 42, illustrated.

Time Magazine, January 24, 1964, vol. 83, no. 4, front cover illustration.

The present work is accompanied by an original copy of the cover of Time Magazine from January 24, 1964 that features this work as the front cover illustration.

The subject of the male and female nude is a traditional one for artists throughout the ages. However, John Koch's perspective on this subject was unique in that he explored both physical beauty and social issues, including race, sexual norms, and domestic relations. The present work is a superb example of both Koch's realist style and his ability to depict the complexities of the male-female relationship in the guise of a domestic bedroom scene. In 1964, the present work was chosen for the cover of Time Magazine for a special issue entitled SEX in the U.S.: Mores & Morality. Koch's painting was printed and reproduced on the cover in tandem with the article, "Morals: The Second Sexual Revolution." Siesta, as with Koch's other bedroom scenes, is not intended to be an overtly erotic or lustful image, as the artist composes his subjects in an idyllic state, comfortably relaxing in warm light that streams through the windows.

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