I was thrilled to find this one, and know I'll be sorry later to let it go. About a year ago I found and sold another painting by self-taught artist Charles Rabin (1897-1983)--that one of an interior with woman in orange dress holding a potted plant (which I completely fell in love with.) Then this one crossed my path, being sold by the artist's granddaughter--who used the term "mosaic painting" to describe it, and let me know it is the first of these she has sold. The red shirted figure at center appears as if he might be a stand in for the artist himself, gesturing this gloriously colorful world into existence. In it, abstraction and figuration joyfully co-exist, and the delights keep unfolding: looking closely one finds a series of tiny figures occupying some of those colorful facets, as if they were physical structures one might occupy (a house, or a perch alongside a stream), which furthers the sense of fluidity between surface and structure and adds to the dynamism of the whole thing. To my eye just a fantastic painting.
While the whole thing feels like a conversation among Cezanne, Picasso, Rousseau, Kandinsky, the Bauhaus and beyond, Rabin, who did not begin painting until he was 70 (with paints left over from a paint by numbers kit), had no formal training and, as told by his family, was not studying the work of other artists. Born in Warsaw Poland, he emigrated to the U.S. by way of England as a young man and settled in Brooklyn, making his living as a sample maker in the garment industry, then later running a poultry farm in Elmer, New Jersey. Late in life, upon the coaxing of his family, his work was exhibited at a series of venues around New Jersey and in a solo show at the Socrates Parakis Gallery in Philadelphia.
15 1/4" x 13 1/4" framed and in excellent condition. C. 1970s.