Rolph Scarlett Abstract Watercolor
Rolph Scarlett was born in Canada in 1889 into an artistic family. As a teenager, he apprenticed for his uncle's jewelry business and studied at the Art Students League in New York. It was on a trip to Zurich that he had the opportunity to meet Paul Klee who had a major influence in the direction of Scarlett's work and his decision to move to a non-objective style of painting.
Scarlett settled in New York in 1937 and began a friendship with Hilla Rebay, who was the Director of the Museum of Non-Objective Art (renamed the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1952). Rebay played a major role in the collection of the Guggenheim, advising Mr. Guggenheim on artists and introducing him to artists such as Rolph Scarlett, Rudolph Bauer, and Vasily Kandinsky.
This watercolor is loose and free of Scarlett's geometric style and has his deep pigmentation as well as his ability to move the eye around the work. The detail I find inspired is his double signature, suggesting that one could hang the piece vertically or horizontally. What is evident in all of Scarlett's work is his passion and devotion to the practice.
The work of Rolph Scarlett was collected by Gertrude Stein and is in the collections of The Guggenheim, The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. and other excellent institutions.