Stimulating Rhythms: Rolph Scarlett - Paintings and Jewelry

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • October 07, 2021

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Rolph Scarlett (1889-1984) Floating Forms, circa 1960 oil on canvas 41 ¾ x 49 ⅞ in.

Debra Force Fine Art is pleased to present Stimulating Rhythms: Rolph Scarlett—Paintings and Jewelry from October 7th through November 12th. The exhibition features oil paintings, works on paper, and jewelry by the artist from the 1930s through the 1970s.

The paintings and works on paper focus primarily on the artist’s Geometric Abstractions executed from the 1930s to the 1960s. It was these works that brought him to the attention of Hilla Rebay, Director of the Museum of Non-Objective Painting (today the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum) in 1936, who befriended the young artist and championed his talent. The examples included in the show are composted of bright, dynamic colors arranged in a harmonious, kaleidoscopic format with shapes often overlapping in semi-transparent folds, creating an illusion of depth. A sense of motion presides in many of his works with an increased effect of depth and vastness in paintings made after 1940.

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Scarlett’s early training in jewelry design came from his family’s business in Ontario, Canada. Industrial and jewelry design were a consistent part of his artistic practice throughout his career, and he turned wholeheartedly to the latter in 1961. Creating jewelry in the American Modernist tradition embraced by Alexander Calder, Ibram Lassaw, and Harry Bertoia, among others, Scarlett worked primarily with silver and agates. His pieces were constructed freely without sketches as they evolved in his mind, and each one was a unique sculptural entity.

Rolph Scarlett (1889-1984) Pendant II, circa 1960s - 1970s silver, gold, and semi-precious stones 5 ¾ x 4 inches

Most of the 40 works in this exhibition were acquired directly from the artist by a private collector in Massachusetts; this is the first time they are being shown publicly. Please contact the gallery for a copy of the exhibition checklist and accompanying brochure.

Debra Force Fine Art
13 East 69th St.
New York, New York
212.734.3636

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