Alson Skinner Clark (1876-1949) Interior, Carson Pirie Scott and Co., Chicago 10 1/2 x 13 3/4in (Painted in 1905.)

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Lot 86
Alson Skinner Clark
(1876-1949)
Interior, Carson Pirie Scott and Co., Chicago 10 1/2 x 13 3/4in

US$ 4,000 - 6,000
£ 3,200 - 4,800
Amended
Alson Skinner Clark (1876-1949)
Interior, Carson Pirie Scott and Co., Chicago
unsigned, inscribed 'Carson Pirie Scott - Chicago' (on the reverse)
oil on panel
10 1/2 x 13 3/4in
Painted in 1905.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private collection, Los Angeles, California.

    Alson Skinner Clark sojourned in Chicago from the fall of 1905 to the fall of 1906, between his travels to the Netherlands and Japan. The present work depicts the Carson Pirie Scott department store in Chicago, completed in 1904, by the leading modernist architect Louis Sullivan. The department store was lauded in its day for its innovative structural engineering — its steel frame allowed for greater window surface area as well as increased floor heights. Aesthetically, this opened up the facade allowing for greater light and observation, which ushered in a new era of visual merchandising as well as the imposing skyscraper form.

    In the present work, Clark captures this new quality of interior light from a vaulted perspective. It relates to a larger composition of the same subject, observed from the same vantage point, created in the same year. Of the larger work, Deborah Epstein Solon notes that 'Clark captured the interior of one section of the bustling store, using a highly Impressionistic style to show the movements of the patrons (mostly women) as they shopped. The focus is on spontaneity and immediacy: figures and merchandise are merely suggested by dabs of color and brush strokes. Clark has attained a new level of freedom in the handling of paint, a significant step toward his practice of Impressionist techniques. From this point forward, elements from the style vie with the more "Whistlerian" paintings of his early years.' 1

    1 D.E. Solon, An American Impressionist: The Art and Life of Alson Skinner Clark, Hudson Hills Press, Pasadena, 2005, p. 35.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the work is from the Collection of Robert Winter, Pasadena, California. Mr. Winter, known colloquially as 'Bungalow Bob', was an esteemed architectural historian specializing in the Southern California Arts and Crafts movement and Batchelder Tile.
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