(Paris 1934 - Paris 2019)
Signed Szafran in pencil at the lower centre.
737 x 476 mm. (29 x 18 3/4 in.)
As the artist himself has noted of such works as this, ‘My obsession with plants has found here…its best grounds to express itself. These large watercolours are the negative of the positive of the blue leaf pastels of the 1970s. They are the result of chain reactions that provoke continuous deviations.’
James Lord adds that ‘Szafran’s staircases and plants are the output of an eye dedicated to the absolutism of its own experience, disciplined by self-effacement before what sight alone can convey to the senses but submissive at the same time to the sublimating want of self-expression. Proceed with caution upon these stairs and amongst the vegetation. Aesthetic delight is dangerous. The pleasure of familiar forms is deceptive…Seeing Szafran shows how wonderfully well looking can think.’
Throughout much of Sam Szafran’s career, his work was acquired by a coterie of enthusiastic and devoted collectors. Prominent among these was the French-American businessman and passionate collector William Louis-Dreyfus (1932-2016), who assembled an exceptional group of works by the artist that spanned several decades of his career.
Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris and New York
Purchased in 1987 by William Louis-Dreyfus, Mount Kisco
The William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation, from 2015.