STEVE DURKEE | STERN LIGHT
oil and graphite on canvas
Canvas: 13 by 11 in. (33 by 27.9 cm)
Framed: 13½ by 11½ in. (34.3 by 29.2 cm)
Executed in 1962.
Please note that this work will be exhibited at Sotheby’s. Purchased items will be available for collection at Crozier Fine Arts, 1 Star Ledger Plaza, Newark, NJ as of Thursday, December 13th.
This work is in good condition overall. There is a surface layer of soiling, primarily visible in the white painted passages. There is rubbing with associated accretions and pinpoint loss to the edges. There is a dent and stretcher bar mark to the upper portion of the right vertical edge. There is a ½ inch loss by the T in LIGHT. Under ultraviolet light inspection there is no evidence of restoration. Framed.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Durkee is a self-taught artist whose work reflects nostalgia for an everyday American life in the 1940s and 1950s, with poignant compositions of color fields, signs, insignias of popular culture and the antiquated imagery of a lost time. He moved to New York City in 1956, taking a studio on Fulton Street once belonging to Robert Rauchenberg and before that to Cy Twombly. In 1961, he was included in the watershed Museum of Modern Art exhibition, The Art of Assemblage, curated by director William C. Seitz, the same year of his first exhibition with Allan Stone. In 1962, the critic Gene Swenson included Durkee, along with Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, and Robert Indiana, in an ARTnews article on 'The New American Sign Painters.' Durkee was a member of the media art collective, USCO, in Garnerville NY and in 1966 moved to New Mexico with his wife where they founded a spiritual collective called Lama.