Suzy Frelinghuysen (1911-1988) Composition: The Ring 23 3/4 x 19 7/8in

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Lot 1
Suzy Frelinghuysen
(1911-1988)
Composition: The Ring 23 3/4 x 19 7/8in

Sold for US$ 56,250 inc. premium

American Art

18 May 2016, 14:00 EDT

New York

Suzy Frelinghuysen (1911-1988)
Composition: The Ring
signed and dated 'Suzy Frelinghuysen / 1943' (on the reverse)
oil and collage on Masonite
23 3/4 x 19 7/8in

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    The artist.
    (probably) By descent to the present owner.

    Born into a prominent New Jersey family, Suzy Frelinghuysen moved to New York before she was twenty in order to study music. In 1935 she married the American artist George L.K. Morris. Being of similar background, the affluent couple, along with Albert E. Gallatin and Charles Green Shaw, formed a group known as the Park Avenue Cubists. Their work reflected the influence of European Modernists such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Fernand Léger.

    Though well known in artistic circles, Frelinghuysen also had a career as an accomplished singer and for a number of years appeared with the New York City Opera. Composition: The Ring certainly reflects her combined interest in music and art. The Synthetic Cubist collage elements in the present work consists of a cover from a French, circa 1900, piano and voice transcription of Die Walkure from Wagner's Ring Cycle. As a dramatic soprano, she would have no doubt trained for a number of Wagnerian roles and this cover may well have come from her personal collection of sheet music. The two fractured profiles of stringed instruments featuring scrolled and bent necks as well as a sheet of blank staff paper further accentuate the theme of the painting. The sheet of staff paper peers out from underneath the collage elements as if it were looking for notes to fill it.
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