Llyn Foulkes: The Painter’s Muse

April 28, 2014

In the upcoming May 18, 2014 Modern Art & Design Auction, Los Angeles Modern Auctions will offer a rare large-scale work from Los Angeles painter Llyn Foulkes that comes directly from the Estate of Eudorah Moore.

Artist and musician Llyn Foulkes (b. 1934) creates paintings, installations, and tableaux of biting social commentary, often utilizing a concoction of pop icons, American landscapes, and violent imagery. After serving in the Korean War, Foulkes moved to Los Angeles to attend the Chouinard Art Institute and had his first exhibition at Ferus Gallery in 1959.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Within Ercha (1960), Llyn Foulkes, the Estate of Eudorah Moore

Throughout the 1960s and 70s, his work ranged from melancholy assemblages and skillful American landscapes to his “bloody head” portraits. During this period, Foulkes amassed international awards including the 1967 Prize for Painting at the Paris Biennale. The Hammer Museum recently exhibited Foulkes’ 50-year retrospective, “LLYN FOULKES,” which highlighted some of his most recent “narrative tableaux that combine painting with woodworking, found materials, and thick mounds of mixed media, seamlessly blended into the painted surface to create a remarkable illusion of depth.”

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Within Ercha (1960) verso, Llyn Foulkes, the Estate of Eudorah Moore

In one of these early multi-layered works, Within Ercha (1960), oil, tar, and collage coalesce to depict a moment from Foulkes’ own life. The abstract black figure swooping across the upper right section of the piece is Foulkes’ pet raven at the time, Ercha. This is one of the first paintings inspired by his black bird, and Foulkes continued incorporating the name Ercha in other works from this era. His work has always been “intensely personal.” The devastation he witnessed during his military service erupts in black swaths throughout his early paintings and have become a Foulkes emblem. In a recent interview, Foulkes said, “I never got that out of my mind, ever. I still haven’t. That anybody could do anything like that to people.” This painting was included in his solo show at the Oakland Art Museum in 1964 and again in “The Last Time I Saw Ferus” at the Newport Harbor Museum in 1976.

Lot Information:

Lot 271
Llyn Foulkes
Within Ercha
Oil, tar, and collage on canvas
Signed “foulkes” lower left and dated in Roman numerals “lx” lower center; bears the inscription “Llyn Foulkes c/o Ferus Gallery” verso; signed “FOULKES” verso
Canvas: 60″ x 69″; Frame: 61″ x 70″

LAMA would like to thank the artist for his assistance in cataloguing this work

Provenance: The Estate of Eudorah Moore, Pasadena, California

Exhibited: “Llyn Foulkes,” The Oakland Art Museum, Oakland, February 15-March 1, 1964; “The Last Time I Saw Ferus: 1957-1966,” Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, March 7-April 17, 1976

Literature: Llyn Foulkes. Exhibition Catalogue. Oakland: The Oakland Art Museum, 1964. p 53; The Last Time I Saw Ferus: 1957-1966. Exhibition Catalogue. Newport Beach: Newport Harbor Art Museum, 1976. #23.

Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000

For more information, or details on how to bid, please contact a LAMA representative.

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