19 7/16 x 23 7/16 in. (49.4 x 59.6 cm)
Edward John Stevens, Jr.
(Jersey City, NJ, 1923 - 1988)
Medium and Support:
Gouache on paper
Gift of Mrs. Anna W. M. Wolf
Location: Not currently on view
Described as a “most unusual personality,” Edward John Stevens, Jr. was only 23 and primarily self-taught when he attained acclaim in the competitive New York City art world. After participating in his first group exhibition at the Weyhe Gallery in 1943, he was awarded with annual one-man shows over the next four years, from which every painting was sold. His imaginary scenes of fantastical animals and environments showed the influence of African and Pre-Columbian art, and modernist styles such as Cubism and Surrealism. He painted Jungle Harbour after his first trip to Cuba. The meticulously-detailed surface demonstrates horror vacui (from the Latin “fear of empty space”), a characteristic common in art made by untrained artists.
[Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]