Robert S. Neuman


"Ciudad de Corazones," 1959-1960

Oil on canvas
Signed twice, titled, dated and inscribed verso: Robert S. Neuman / Boston
77" H x 146" W

  • Provenance: Allan Stone Gallery, New York, NY
    Property of an Important New York Corporate Collection
  • Exhibited: Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA, n.d.
    Brandeis University, Walthamm MA, n.d.
  • Notes: Measuring 77 inches high by 146 inches wide, "Ciuadad de Corazones" is a painting by Robert S. Neuman (1925-2006, American) that is a rare and exemplary example of the type of monumental paintings for which members of the Abstract Expressionist movement are so today so well-known.

    Born in Idaho in 1925, Robert S. Neuman began what would become a nearly five-decade career in the early 1950s. After receiving his BFA and Master of Fine Art degrees at the California College of the Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California, Neuman – who greatly admired the work of both Clyfford Still and Richard Diebenkorn – began exhibiting his own paintings in juried shows of Abstract Expressionists. In 1953, Neuman was warded a Fulbright Fellowship, which brought him to Stuggart, Germany where he studied under the noted German Expressionist painter Willi Baumeister. After a brief return to the East Coast, Neuman was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship that allowed him, his wife, and his young daughter to return to Europe and live in Barcelona, Spain for several years.

    When considered in context of the artist's oeuvre, it is possible to identify connections between both series of paintings that Neuman completed during his time in Europe – series which are now known as the Black Paintings and the Barcelona Paintings. Yet, the painting is a rare and important example of a monumental work from what is now known as "the second wave" of Abstract Expressionism (Neuman himself is often considered a member of its "second generation").

    Neuman completed "Ciudad de Corazones" ("City of Hearts") shortly after he, his wife, and four-year-old daughter moved back to the United States and settled in Boston. His decision to build his career outside of New York City -- where he was able to raise a family and later teach at Harvard University – reflects what is now a clear characteristic of the ethos of the second generation of artists: a far greater willingness to broaden definition of what the movement could be, as well as who could participate and where they could live and show their work. This greater on diversity was practiced in more than just its aesthetics: it also broadly affected the manner in which work from this period was produced, displayed, and consumed around the world.

    "Ciudad de Corazones" was acquired from the esteemed Allan Stone Gallery in New York City sometime during the early to mid-1960s. Over the course of his career, Neuman was featured in five solo exhibitions and at least two group exhibitions at the Allan Stone Gallery. Yet, there are two exhibitions noted in the gallery's exhibition history that are likely candidates for where this work was originally exhibited: either, the artist's first solo exhibition at Allan Stone Gallery, which ran from November 11-30, 1963, or "Robert S. Neuman: Selected Paintings from 1955-1959," shown from January 26-February 17, 1966.

    According to another label attached to the stretcher bars verso, the painting was also exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. As no specific exhibition or date is mentioned, it seems likely that this exhibition occurred prior to the work's being shipped to, exhibited at, and sold by Allan Stone Gallery. For most of the last several decades, the work has been on display in a company's New York corporate headquarters. Apart from these two exhibitions that occurred at unspecified dates, we do not know of any other times when this work has been publicly displayed.

    Many Abstract Expressionist paintings on this scale reside in institutional collections, and they appear infrequently on the open market. As such, we are incredibly pleased to be able to offer "Ciudad de Corazones" for sale for the first time in over fifty years.
  • Condition: Visual: Good condition. An 8" horizontal split in the canvas at lower center with attendant scattered paint loss extending half an inch on either side of the tear, with corresponding patch verso. A few flecks of paint loss scattered throughout. Surface dirt, grime and residue. Frame abraisons showing in sections along all four edges. Stretcher bar creasing along all four edges showing mostly at the top. The canvas is slightly loose and bows in the lower left corner.

    Blacklight: No evidence of restoration.

    Frame: 78" H x 147" W x 2" D

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November 1, 2022 12:00 PM PDT
Monrovia, CA, US

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