Lot 377. Eugeniusz Zak (Polish, 1884-1926)
Signed “Eug. Zak” u.l.
Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 31 3/4 in. (101.0 x 81.0 cm), framed.
Condition: Scattered retouch, pinhole to center, varnish inconsistencies, craquelure.
Provenance: Private collection, Massachusetts.
Literature: Heinrich Ritter, “Eugen Zak,” Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration 50, no. 1 (April 1922), pp. 2-10, ill. p. 2; Stanislaw Woznicki, “Od Malowniczosci do Linearyzmu: Sztuka i Rytm,” Poludnie 3, no. 1 (1924), pp. 3-13, ill.; Barbara Brus-Malinowska, Eugeniusz Zak: 1884-1926 (Warsaw: National Museum, 2004), cat. no. 117, ill.
Exhibitions: Annual Salon, Towarzystwo Zachety Sztuk Pieknych, Warsaw, 1919, checklist no. 278.
N.B. Born in Belarus to Polish-Jewish parents, Eugeniusz Zak studied art in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts under Jean-Léon Gérôme and at the Académie Colarossi with Albert Besnard. He worked on idyllic landscapes and Arcadian scenes populated by shepherds and fishermen during this time. With the outbreak of World War I, Zak moved to Poland and painted several works similar to Young Acrobat. These paintings all depict a solemn figure in a sparse interior setting and recall Pablo Picasso’s Rose and Blue Period paintings, as well as the elongated figures of Amedeo Modigliani’s works. Often associated with the group of early twentieth-century artists known as the École de Paris, Zak was sure to have been familiar with the works of Picasso and Modigliani. Zak’s stylized and graceful figures also bear the influence of his interest in Renaissance artists like Sandro Botticelli. Returning to Paris in 1923, Zak’s works maintained the nostalgic and melancholic tone he had adopted during the war.
Estimate $40,000-60,000. Skinner. September 27, 2017 12:00PM