6 Bridge Street Lambertville, NJ 08530 United States 609.397.7700
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$ 18,500


Documentation Signed
Documentation Notes Stamped lower left center
Origin United States, Pennsylvania
Period 1920-1949
Materials Pastel on Paper
W. 24 in; H. 18 in;
W. 60.96 cm; H. 45.72 cm;
Condition Good.
Creation Date c. 1938
Description Jim’s of Lambertville is proud to offer this artwork by:

Ramstonev Co-operative Project (1937 - 1939)

In the late 1930s, Charles Ramsey became close friends with Charles Evans and Louis Stone. He persuaded them to join him teaching his New Hope summer classes in non-objective painting. Soon, a history-making collaboration began. In 1937, meeting in Evans’ studio at the rear of Cryer’s Hardware store on Main Street in New Hope, a decision was made to establish the Co-operative Painting Project. They were intrigued by the cooperative “ad-lib” process by which jazz musicians created their music. Believing this to be the quintessential American contribution to music, they theorized that a similar result might be obtainable with art, a visual “jam session”. This particularly fascinated Ramsey, who was a jazz buff and had a large collection of jazz records.

The objective was to jointly collaborate in the creation of a painting as well as applying collective criticism during its creation. By creating forward movement by general consent, they believed they could produce a higher level of beauty. By consensus it was decided that subject matter would be non-objective. Up to eight people would participate and stop when the painting “felt” finished by common agreement.

These co-operative works were done in several different mediums—the majority in pastel, but some in watercolor, gouache, graphite, or cut paper collage. On occasion, the group would create a series, as opposed to a single work, created in steps by three or four artists. One of the occasional participants was famed New Hope poet, Stanley Kunitz. These series could range in number from four to sixteen paintings in each. The first of a series would be very basic and the last a fully finished work.

In the scope of importance among the New Hope Modernist group, these works are paramount. Work by any of these three artists, especially of this period (1937-1939), is considered extremely rare and highly sought after. The Ramstonev works combine all three artists during the prime of their careers, pioneering in a collaborative effort to advance the concepts of modernist art. These revolutionary works will likely find their place in the history of modernist art in America.

Source: New Hope for American Art, James M. Alterman
Styles / Movements Abstract Expressionism, New Hope School
Book References Illustrated in New Hope for American Art pg. 419
Dealer Reference Number JOL11231954
Incollect Reference Number 346196
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