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Arthur B. Carles (American, 1882–1952)
The Red Shawl
Circa 1930
Oil on canvas
21 1/4 x 18 1/4 inches
Provenance: Private collection, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, Inc., New York, New York; private collection, until 2001
Courtesy of Brock & Co., Carlisle, Massachusetts

A.B. Carles is considered one of America’s true pioneers of modern art. Between 1907 and 1911, a traveling fellowship awarded by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts allowed him to live in Paris, where he came under the influence of the expatriate modernists John Marin (American, 1870–1953) and Alfred Maurer (American, 1868–1932). Most importantly, he took lessons with Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954).

Enamored with the vivid colors and flat-patterned designs of Matisse and other fauvists, Carles’s work became increasingly abstract after 1927, about the time he painted The Red Shawl, shown here. Art historian Barbara Wolanin has unraveled more details about this work, “This is one of the paintings Carles photographed in his studio in Paris around 1930…. He had his landlady pose for him during that period. [It] does have a lot of Matisse.”

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