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Hovsep Pushman (American, 1877-1966) Still Life with Chinese Statuette

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American & European Works of Art - 2517B
Date / Time :
September 24, 2010 12:00PM


Hovsep Pushman (American, 1877-1966)

Still Life with Chinese Statuette
Signed "Pushman" l.r.
Oil on wood panel, 23 15/16 x 18 in. (60.8 x 45.7 cm) framed.
Condition: Paint loss from frame abrasion l.l.

Provenance: Purchased from Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, c. 1948, then by descent through the family.

N.B. Of Armenian descent, Hovsep Pushman immigrated to the United States with his parents when he was in his late teens, settling in Chicago. The family were highly intellectual antiquarian collectors and dealers in Oriental rugs, who encouraged Hovsep in his artistic studies. Pushman pursued his education in China and in Paris, where he won his first bronze medal at the Paris Salon in 1914. By 1920, Pushman turned to painting still lifes almost exclusively, often basing his spiritual compositions around the rare antiquities, statuettes, ancient pottery and glass that his family had collected. His compositions often included wilted roses and other dried flowers.

Pushman preferred to work on wood or Masonite, although he understood that potential purchasers believed that canvas made a more desirable support. Hence, Pushman would occasionally back his paintings with a layer of canvas fabric and add a stretcher-like reinforcement to the back, as is the case with the work at hand. Pushman prefered to use antique frames, many of which he bought in Paris and had restored and refitted for his paintings in New York.

In 1923 Pushman moved to New York and opened a studio at the Carnegie Hall Building. He joined Grand Central Art Galleries and enjoyed great success there; his solo show in 1932 contained 16 paintings, all of which sold on opening day. He had solo shows also in 1943 and 1945. Reviewers in Artnews and Art Digest praised the works for their timelessness and quietude, peace and mystery, while citing their dramatic lighting, richness of texture, and technical competence.(1)

1. Artnews. vol. 44, May 1, 1945 and Art Digest, vol. 19, April 15, 1945.

Estimate $20,000-30,000

Abrasion (1 x 1/8 inch) l.l. edge from frame liner. Exposed nail head, center left edge from mounting to stretcher.


Hovsep Pushman, Paris, United States, Chicago, China, Carnegie Hall Building, Exposed nail head , center, Armenia