Pierrette Bloch (French, 1928-2015)
Initialed and dated "PBl. 50" l.r.
Oil on canvas, 24 x 15 in. (61.0 x 38.0 cm), framed.
Condition: Minor paint loss/scuff l.r., fine craquelure, surface grime.
Provenance: The estate of Alvin Epstein, New York City.
N.B. Shortly after World War II, French abstract artist Pierrette Bloch began studying in Paris with André L'Hote and later with Henri Bernard Goetz, who introduced her to Pierre Soulages. Bloch's early abstract works were deeply influenced by other painters in her circle. Executed in 1950, this work is rendered in heavy broad black gestures and thick impasto showing the influence of her friend and mentor Soulages. It was created the same year she participated in the Salon des réalités nouvelles and before her first solo exhibitions in 1951. As her work evolved, Bloch began to turn to ink and to textiles, finding expanding success in these media. She has been described as the forerunner to the French art movement Supports/Surfaces. This work has been confirmed authentic by David Quéré, the artist's heir and recognized expert, and relates to one still in her studio. It was a gift from the artist to her good friend and actor, Alvin Epstein.
Alvin Epstein (1925-2018) was a celebrated classical stage actor and director who appeared in the Broadway premiere of Waiting for Godot and went on to become widely known for his mastery of works by Samuel Beckett. He was a founding member of the American Repertory Company as well as the Yale Repertory Theater and was long affiliated with nonprofit and regional theater. Epstein met and befriended Pierrette Bloch and Pierre Soulages while studying mime in Paris with Marcel Marceau, and the friendships continued whenever they visited New York.
Scattered small pigment losses at the crests of the highest impasto, the largest loss measuring 1/8 in. (0.3 cm), the others much smaller. Area of thinly applied pigment in the center in keeping with the artist's aesthetic rather than evidence of any overcleaning. Fine craquelure, surface grime, scattered surface accretions.
The work is not accompanied by any certificate, but before it was consigned for auction it was examined via digital photographs by David Quéré who confirmed it as a painting by Pierrette Bloch and noted that one exists in Bloch's studio from the same period that is very similar in style.
Framed dimensions are 27 x 18 inches.
Items may have wear and tear, imperfections, or the effects of aging. Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.