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ROBERT LOUIS THOMPSON

American, 1937-1966

The Raising of Lazarus

1965, oil on canvas
signed, dated, and titled B Thompson '65 / Raising of Lazarus / [indistinct], verso
9 x 12 in.

  • Provenance: The Estate of Drs. Dorothy and Norman Zinberg.

    Bob Thompson's short but brilliant eight year career was bookended by summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, first as an art student in 1958, then, in 1965, after a meteoric rise in the New York art scene, as an established artist. In the intervening years Thompson received numerous grants to study and work in Europe, settling at times in France, Spain, and Italy, studying and reimaging the Old Masters that surrounded him. He rejected abstract expressionism, instead filling his canvases with tightly composed, spontaneously and brightly colored figures, a style of figurative abstraction complete with its own lexicon of symbols. His love of jazz, of poetry, of movement, and of color informed his reinterpretation of the Renaissance and Baroque themes he so intensely responded to. As his friend and fellow student in Provincetown Emilio Cruz wrote, "...it was the time when all young men dripped and splashed, loved Kline and DeKooning, sang praises to Jackson Pollock. Bob didn't do it. Bob loved Ray Charles, Miles Davis, and Piero Della Francesca, a strange toast salad. But it all tasted good because like Bob the ingredients were fresh, vibrating with life and filled his world; he overflowed with color." Like Thompson himself, the present work - painted just one year before Thompson's untimely death at age 28 - overflows with color. Reds and yellows and blues and greens come together in a composition that deftly deconstructs and reimagines a classical narrative, in the process highlighting the artist's singular vision and distinctive style.

    During the Black Lives Matter protests in Boston this June, our gallery door was spray painted with the message "#BLM DO BETTER, ART WORLD!" With the consignment of thirteen works by Black artists to The Fall Auction, we have identified an opportunity to do so. Grogan & Company will contribute 5% of our proceeds from the sale of lots 16 through 28 to Boston's Artists For Humanity. Our donation will provide support to the next generation of BIPOC artists, and is meant to encourage others in the art world to take the challenge to “Do Better.” Artists For Humanity (AFH) provides under-resourced teens the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design. Visit Artists For Humanity's website to learn more.

    Grogan & Company is pleased to offer at auction sixteen works from the collection of the late Drs. Dorothy and Norman Zinberg. Both Zinbergs were accomplished scientists who met as graduate students at Harvard in the 1950s. Dorothy was a beloved Harvard Kennedy School scholar and a pioneering sociologist and biochemist who focused on the relationship between science and public policy. Throughout her storied career, she was a mentor to and advocate for women in the sciences and higher education. Remembered as a generous, humble, and stalwart friend, Dorothy was known for her ability to bring together individuals from all walks of life, hosting legendary salons at her Cambridge home. She and Norman also spent time in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where they were neighbors and good friends of the artist Robert Motherwell.
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12 in.
  • Artist Name: ROBERT LOUIS THOMPSON
  • Medium: 1965, oil on canvas
  • Condition: This work is not framed. Minor wear at edges consistent with being out of frame, otherwise in good condition.

    Please note: All property is sold "AS IS" and any statement, whether oral or written, is given as a courtesy and shall not be deemed as a guarantee, warranty, or representation of the authenticity of authorship, physical condition, size, quality, rarity, importance, provenance, exhibitions, literature or historical relevance of the property or otherwise. The absence of a condition report does not imply the item is in perfect condition.

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November 15, 2020 11:00 AM EST

Boston, MA, US

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