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Clifford Odets “The Guarded House”

December 13, 2010

Clifford Odets’ “The Guarded House” (1947)  is one piece from a selection of 50 works from the James Byrnes Collection that will go up for auction on March 6, 2011.

Clifford Odets, more commonly known to his friends as a screenwriter and movie director, had immense artistic talent, which he would employ during writer’s blocks and sleepless nights due to insomnia. Odets began to paint more in the 1940’s and 1950’s after being proclaimed as a Communist by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and blacklisted in Hollywood, which both added to his stress, thus causing him to find frequent relief through painting.

Odets also collected art, including works by Chagall, Picasso, Rouault, and Klee, who was his favorite artist.  Odets’ small, charged compositions are most similar to that of Paul Klee’s “War Scene”, however Odets’ strength is his use of line to create scenes that were both imaginative and raw, which were considered to be more personal than his writings.

Lot Information

Clifford Odets
“The Guarded House”
May 1947
Signed “COdets 5/47”
14″ x 10″
March 6, 2011
Estimate $1,000 – 1,500

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