oil on canvas
52 x 42 inches
The paintings of the Abstract Expressionists are among the most sought after in the world. Sound, by award winning Abstract Expressionist Esteban Vicente, features a beautiful composition and vibrant palate characteristic of his mature painting style. Sound, employs subtle gradations of hue and startling juxtapositions, it is a masterpiece of suggestion, nuance and drama. Vicente's luminous and subtle color transitions were achieved by staining the canvas with layers of translucent pigment akin to color field painting. Such works, in the words of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Frank, "embodied the essential paradox of human life, in that it was a material means to a spiritual realm. The flow of radiant light through pigment [transports] the viewer to a state of luminous calm."
Born in 1903 Esteban Vicente was the only Spanish-born artist of the first generation of Abstract Expressionists. He moved to the United States in 1936 after living briefly in Paris and London, witnessing the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and defending his country’s Republican government. By 1950 he was a fixture of New York’s Downtown art scene. His contemporaries and associates included Willem de Kooning (with whom he shared a studio), Elaine de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Barnett Newman and Ad Reinhardt. Vicente was a voting member of The Club, and participated in some of the first exhibitions of Abstract Expressionist, including Talent 1950 at the Samuel Kootz Gallery and the seminal 9th Street Show. A dedicated teacher, he taught art at New York University; the University of California, Berkeley; Black Mountain College; the New York Studio School; Princeton University; and Yale University among other institutions.
Towards the end of his life the Spanish government opened the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente in Segovia. Vicente died at the age of 97 in 2001 at his home in Bridgehampton, New York, 10 days before his 98th birthday. His work can be found in important collections and museums such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, to name a few.
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