Prints & Photography
April 17 — 22, 2021
Auction begins to close at 2 am ET
Larry Rivers (1923-2002)
Paul Becker Collection, Toronto label to frame;
Private Collection, Ontario
This mixed-media print is based on Larry Rivers’ same-titled painting of 1961. The subject of the painting was based on an article that appeared in Life Magazine in 1956 devoted to Albert Henry Woolson (February 11, 1850 – August 2, 1956), the old Rebel and last known surviving member of the Union Army who served in the American Civil War.
The lot is accompanied by two sections of the The New York Times, National Edition, Monday, September 7, 2009, with Holland Cotter’s art review, headlined on the front page as: “Reconsidering Larry Rivers” and in The Arts section as “Last Chance/ Refurbished Reputation for a Nervy Painter,” pgs. C1 and C5, where Rivers' canvas “The Last Civil War Veteran” is featured in colour as the highlight of the solo show “Larry Rivers: 1950s/1960s” at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in Manhattan (ended September 13, 2009). There were two Civil War paintings in the exhibition; Cotter described them as “haunting little things” and “mock-patriotic paintings.” He cited “The Last Civil War Veteran” as Rivers’ most politically trenchant work.