Oil on canvas wrapped panel
artist's wood sculptural frame
17 3/4 x 20 3/4 in. total
14 ¼ X 17 ¼ in. canvas
Exhibited San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco Women Artists Twenty-First Annual Exhibition,
November 8 - December 1, 1946 (label on verso)
Estate of Henry Hopkins
Claire Falkenstein is an internationally recognized Abstract Expressionist sculptor, painter and jewelry maker. Falkenstein was a true pioneer amongst artists as in the early 1930s, she invented abstract forms that reflected the new scientific and philosophical concepts of the twentieth century. Falkenstein grew up in a tiny isolated community on Coos Bay in Oregon. The town had one industry, the lumber mill in which her father was a manager. As a child, Falkenstein would go on the beach to see the sun come up and spend time looking at the shells, rocks, seaweed, and driftwood, these nature forms inspired her work.
Falkenstein is well-known as the creator of Peggy Guggenheim’s Venice palazzo gates. Her ability to blend abstract materials such as wood, glass, wire and metal is unparalleled. Falkenstein’s first solo museum exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1940 was followed by her works being shown at such prestigious museums as the Louvre and the Rodin Museums of Paris. Falkenstein’s early abstract paintings in the 1940s also defined much of her style and later works.
Falkenstein went to Paris in 1950 for 13 years, her studio became a central meeting place for admiring critics and artists. She met Jean Arp, Alberto Giacometti, and many other European artists. Falkenstein came under the protective wing of a mentor, Michel Tapie, an art connoisseur and intellectual who promoted her work and ideas. Falkenstein’s works are in the collections of The Tate Gallery, Whitney Museum, Metropolitan, MoMA, Guggenheim, Smithsonian, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Pasadena Museum.