Lot# 204 Susi Singer-Schinnerl (1891-1965 Pasadena, CA)
Seated draped figure playing cards, polychromed glazed terracotta on wooden base, 19.5'' H x 14.5'' W x 12'' D, est: $4000/6000
*Price Realized: $9,600.00
appears unsigned. Note: Susi Singer-Schinnerl was born in Austria in 1891 and exhibited natural talent as a painter from a young age. At 16, she received a scholarship to train at Wiener Werkstatte where she was directed away from painting toward the ''applied art'' of ceramics by director Josef Hoffmann (1870-1956). She remained at the Wiener Werkstatte working in the ceramics workshop for nearly two decades. ''There, though her work won many awards, she was still relegated to a maker of 'figurines', a label that lacked the prestige of the term 'fine art''' (as quoted in the article www.ceramicmuseum.org/womens-werk.html, 2005). Despite struggling against the gender limitations of the time, the hierarchy of artistic medium, and the growing political unrest as Europe headed toward WWII, Singer-Schinnerl honed her craft, creating colorful and uniquely whimsical ceramic figures while at the Wiener Workstatte.
Because she was Jewish, Singer-Schinnerl eventually fled Austria and settled in Los Angeles where she worked briefly at Scripps College in Claremont. ''In 1946, Singer was awarded a grant from the College's Fine Arts Foundation to explore glazes and to produce a number of glazed sculptural pieces for the department'' (as quoted in www.ceramicmuseum.org/womens-work.html, 2005). In Los Angeles, the artist's style and the subjects she chose were influenced by this new environment. Arthur Millier, Los Angeles Times critic, wrote of Singer-Schinnerl's work in 1948, ''...miracles of imagination, observation, grace, humor, freedom and amazing craftmanship'' (as quoted in www.ceramicmuseum.org/womens-werk.html, 2005). The present sculpture's elongated treatment of the figure's hands, foot and neck reveal the markedly modern style Singer-Schinnerl developed in California. The seated figure is at once playful and romantic, appearing lost in thought while playing cards. Provenance: Private Collection, Beverly Hills, CA. Condition: Visual: Generally good condition. Accumulated surface dirt and dust in the crevices. The pinky of the figure's right hand missing. A loose area and a loss of terracotta on the draping below the figure's left shin and possible loss along the lower edge to the left of the figure. Some possible areas of loss to the glazing but difficult to distinguish from the numerous intrinsic firing cracks and crevices. The sculpture not mounted to the wooden base.